An old berry is making a come back! Haskap is the “marketing” name going across North America for the blue berried Honeysuckle or Honeyberry – Lonicera caerulea.
Found growing wild in every province in Canada they can also be found across North America, Japan and Europe. A Hardy bush that can withstand temperatures of minus 45 and the flowers have withstood temperatures of minus 11 and gone on to bear fruit.
The taste is described as a cross between a raspberry/blueberry and saskatoon. In the 1950’s the first planting in Beaverlodge was attempted, but the berries were bitter. The plant was ignored after that. The trick with Haskap is to get the right kind – the right kind being a wonderful berry or the wrong kind, a bitter berry. Here at Dunvegan, we have several tasty varieties available.
Haskap’s grow to be 1.5 to 2 meters in height. They are pest and disease resistant, an easy shrub to grow. There are reports that deer and birds like the berries. There are no thorns or suckers. The berries are the early addition to the garden, ripening a couple of weeks before strawberries. The berries are oblong/oval and large 3-8 cm long and can be used for canning, pies, jams, jellies, candies, ice cream, and yogurt to name a few. There is even a local Haskap winery near Beaverlodge.
Haskap’s have to have a cross pollinator in order to bear fruit. Not all plants cross pollinate with each other, come check out our Cross Pollinator chart in the store.
Varieties: Tundra, Borealis, Indigo Treat, Indigo Gem, Indigo Yum, Honeybee, Aurora, Wojtek, Atlaj, Nimfa, Berry Blue, Polar Jewel
Here at Dunvegan we carry a selection of hardy Haskap’s and pollinators – it is never too early to start planning this year’s garden!