[NAFEX] edible Lonicera species

Kathryn Mathews kathmath at charterinternet.com
Tue May 22 09:15:59 EDT 2007

I'm excited to report my 1st taste testing of the Lonicera shrubs I bought
from One Green World a couple of years ago.  I have one "Berry Blue", one of
the most common cultivars,  and one "Blue Sky", which I have only seen at
OGW and is listed as being developed by an amatuer Siberian
horticulturalist.  Blue Sky was absolutely delicious, sweet and tart with
almost no astringency.  Berry Blue was less sweet and more astringent -
still OK but not great.  I have noticed the leaf disease problem in late
summer here in southern Minnesota.  This year I'll try to minimize that (no
overhead watering, etc.).  If they come through the summer in reasonable
shape, I'm definitly going to order another Blue Sky next spring. (I know
I'll have to keep the Berry Blue for pollination).  We had wildly
fluctuating temperatures this spring, which didn't seem to faze them.  It's
still to early to determine how well they are going to bear.  But anything
that gives delicious, fresh fruit at the end of May is worth a little extra
space.  OGW has the largest selection I've seen and helpfully organizes it
into early and late flowering cultivars so you can make sure your selections
pollonize each other.  I haven't ordered a lot from them, but everything
I've received has been in very good shape despite the trip across the
mountains, and has survived winters here with no problem.
Kathryn Mathews

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-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of William C.
Sent: 05/21/2007 8:47 PM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] edible Lonicera species

> If you like blueberries so much, I can advise you to try lonicera fruit
from edible species, there the blueberry taste is developed to perfection.

I thought about that, but I've had recommendations against them, too.
The biggest problem I've heard is that they'll break dormancy in
fluctuating winter temperatures. Someone (my notes don't mention who)
said "I was told by Edible Landscaping that the plant likes well defined
seasons. As soon as there is a hint of warm weather the plant will break
dormancy."The weather here in the plains fluctuates dramatically, and we
often have periods of surprisingly warm weather in winter.

I've also seen postings that they're "extremely susceptible to leaf
diseases in the Midwest." And, well, some people say their fruit
production is scanty, and that the taste is just OK.

Still, I'd probably give them a try if it wasn't for the breaking
dormancy problem. I like the fact that they produce fruit so early in
the season.

Lincoln, NE (zone 5)

Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and
superstition. - Adam Smith
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