Lonicera caerulea - blue honeysuckle

In Finland blue honeysuckle grows naturally only in Kuusamo, close to the Arctic Circle, where it is a protected endangered species. It is widely used in gardens, being both extremely hardy and undemanding; occasionally it is found as an escapee.

Blue honeysuckle forms a low bush as wide as it is high, with blue-green leaves. The flowers, appearing in May, are yellowish. After Midsummer the blue berries ripen, bitter-tasting and slightly poisonous due to the saponins they contain.

There is also an edible variety (L. caerulea var. edulis) of blue honeysuckle, which unfortunately cannot be distinguished in appearance from the poisonous species. In Russia this edible variety has been selected and bred for a long time. The bushes resulting from this work produce sweet berries about 2-3cms long which taste something like blueberries, bilberries or cranberries.


Lehtipuut ja -pensaat