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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Blue Honeysuckle: a New Berry Crop for North America

Author
item Hummer, Kim

Submitted to: Journal of American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 17, 2005
Publication Date: January 20, 2006
Citation: Hummer, K.E. 2006. Blue honeysuckle: a new berry crop for north america. Journal of American Pomological Society. 60(1):3-8.

Interpretive Summary: Cultivars of blue honeysuckle have been recently introduced into North America from Russia. In addition, wild species have been collected from Russia, Japan and China and are now preserved at the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Corvallis, Oregon. Blue honeysuckle has potential as a new commercialized berry crop for northern latitudes. Russian cultivars were released in the 1980’s and 1990’s and are now available in North America. These cultivars bloom and ripen early, and can yield between 4 to 5 lb. per plant. The berry shape is similar to an elongated or cylindrical blueberry and the fruit flavor ranges from crisp sugar/acid to bland. The fruit is narrow but can be 1 to 2 inches long, has high Vitamin C levels, and high antioxidant content. This crop could provide an additional opportunity for small fruit growers in colder climates to diversify their production for specialty crop markets.

Technical Abstract: Cultivars of blue honeysuckle, Lonicera caerulea L., have been recently introduced into North America from Russia. In addition, wild material has been collected from Russia, Japan and China and is now preserved at the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Corvallis, Oregon. Blue honeysuckle has potential as a commercialized berry crop for northern latitudes. Russian cultivars were released in the 1980’s and 1990’s and are now available in North America. These cultivars bloom and ripen early in the season, and can yield between 2 and 3 kg/plant. The berry shape is similar to an elongated or cylindrical blueberry and the fruit flavor ranges from crisp sugar/acid to bland. The fruit size varies from about 1 to 2 g/berry, has high Vitamin C levels, and high antioxidant content. This crop could provide an additional opportunity for small fruit growers in high latitudes and colder climates to diversify their production for high-end specialty crop markets.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014
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