Berries Unlimited’s Honeyberries
Lidia Stuart, Berries Unlimited co-owner and plant breeder, grew up in Far Eastern Russia and brings her vast Russian experience to the Honeyberry table.We love the Berries Unlimited Russian or Japanese based Honeyberry or Haskap range, as it covers all the nine Harvesting and Flavour groups with two or more in each group. Their Late and Very Late varieties co-partner very well with Boreal Beauty (Late) and Boreal Blizzard (Very Late).
Early Harvesting varieties –
Mid Harvesting varieties –
Late Harvesting varieties –
Very Late Harvesting varieties –
Future of Honeyberry varieties in North America
Lidia Stuart grew up in the Far Eastern part of Russia, where it is considered the origin of Zhimolost or Honeyberry. Most of the wild varieties originate – Lonicera kamtschatica Sevast. Pojark (commonly known as Honeyberry), Lonicera edulis Turcz. Ex Freyn, Lonicera Turczaninowii Pojark, Lonicera regeliana Boczkar, Lonicera pallasii Ledeb, Lonicera emphyllocalyx (commonly known as Japanese Haskap).
Together with her husband Hare Delafield, they have created a wonderful ‘ Home of the Honeyberry’ at their Berries Unlimited nursery in North Western Arkansas. She has happily found that seedlings from F3, F4, and F5 plants give us a broad range of possibilities with new cultivars. She has selected wild Honeyberry cuttings and seedlings from all over Far East Russia and Japan to serve as an excellent source material for breeding varieties. In her opinion, the most preferable for the selection of new varieties come from Lonicera kamtschatica Sevast, Lonicera Turczaninowii Pojark and Lonicera emphyllocalyx (commonly known as Japanese Haskap).
These offer different tastes and flavours from tart to very sweet. These together factors and berry shape, firmness and productivity are all vitality necessary in selecting a viable new cultivar. In her opinion blending tart berries with sweeter ones give the Honeyberry its unique wild flavour.
She is currently selecting new varieties for wine and other alcohol products. We firmly agree with her that Honeyberries will evolve along the lines of grapes. Where table grapes (Vitis labrusca) are fat and sassy with a Brix level of 17 to 19 and wine grapes (Vitis verifa) are lean and mean with a Brix closer to 24 to 26.
Young Berries Unlimited Plants in the Orchard
In the tables below, we have listed the key variables to allow you to choose the right varieties to combine. The basic rule is the larger the ‘plant mass’, the greater number of berries. However, please remember the highest producers do not always produce the tastiest berries. In many cases the smaller yielders (Honey Gin) or tarter tasting cultivars (Happy Giant) allow you to improve your ‘Honeyberry Blend’ for its intended use.
Please remember plant inter-row spacing is critical for the health of the plant. If you plant Happy Giant or Aurora on two or three feet row spacing. It is very unlikely you will end up with a healthy plant or the stated yield. For example, the natural plant mass of Happy Giant is 150 cubic feet (Height x Width x Depth). If you planted it o a two-foot spacing, you would reduce its plant mass to 60 cubic feet and reduce its yield to about four pounds per plant. So your plant spacing strategy is planting disappointment.
In general, Honeyberries are ripe to harvest on a Brix of 15 and higher. The newer sweeter variety’s Brix continues to rise and in many cases, these, when grown under the suitable and luxury conditions, can achieve Brix in the low to mid-twenties.
Berries Unlimited Honeyberry Subgroups
RBU1 – Happy Giant Selection – Russian origin
Blue Diamond, Blue Horn, Blue Ural, Happy Giant, LibertyBlue, Blue Sveta, Tiger of Hearts, Blue PinWheel, and Blue Jewel have the same group of parents. L. Turczaninowii. They are all sisters and have significant clusters of berries along the stems.
They are F5 plants from wild berries from Primorskii kraii of Russia. These were open pollinated and the best selected as parents. The aim in this selection was berry size and excellent taste. Perfect to eat fresh, with maple syrup, for preserves jam, jelly, and wine.
RBU2 – Blue Palm Selection Subgroups – Russian origin
Belly Button (2), Blue Babe (3), Blue Stuart (4), Blue Angus (3), Blue Joy (3), Blue Lashes (1) – are the fastest growing varieties within the Berries Unlimited stable). Blue Palm (1), Blue Pearl (5), Blue Perfection (4), Julia (2), and Natly (1) all have Siberian origins. The berries have a perfect sweetness and a similar flavour to Smart Berry Blue. Their branches are covered with berries from top to bottom – 43 nodes on four-year-old plants.
However, their parents are F3 L. Turczaninowii and L. Kamtschatica. So they all have Far Eastern origins too. The plants are sisters inside of their five subgroups (the numbers of these given in brackets). These varieties bred from the five seed lines of this group. They were open pollinated inside the five groups. They fruit early to mid season.
RBU3 – Blue Moose Selection – Russian origin
Blue Banana (one of the best tasting berries in the BU stable), Blue Goose, Blue Moose, MidNight Blue are F3 L. Turczaninowii. They were open pollinated and were sisters. They fruit early to mid in the season.
RBU4- Happy Dream Selection – Russian origin
Blue Barrel, Blue Blue, Blue Breeze, Blue Corn, Blue Dragon, Blue Earrings, Blue Jam, Blue Jungle, Blue Mist, Blue Rain, Blue Smoke, Blue Storm, Blue Tooth, Blue Torpedo, Blue Zeppelin, Happy Dream. They are from L. Turczaninowii and open pollinated. The plants are a good size and branches are covered with berries from top to bottom.
RBU5 – Blue Charms Selection – Russian origin
Blue Charms, Blue Surprise – These are F3 L. Turczaninowii. The berries are sweet and smaller than other varieties. Perfect for eating fresh and baking.
Selections Three, Four, and Five were bread from F2 plants pollinated inside of these three groups.
RBU6 – Happy Tears Selection – Russian origin
Blue Boomerang, Blue Miracle (fun shape and pleasant taste), Happy Tears (gorgeous shape and excellent taste) and Val.They are F3 L. Turczaninowii and open pollinated. They fruit mid-season.
RBU7 – Blue Pear Selection – Russian origin
Blue Deli, Honey Delight and Blue Pear. They are from F3 L. Turczaninowii and open pollinated.
RBU8 – Blue Whale Selection – Russian origin
Blue Beak (1 – funny shape, a cascade of berries all over branches)), Blue Marques (2), Blue Whale (3), True Blue (4). This group of four are F4 L. Turzcaninowii. Open pollinated inside from four F3 seed varieties. They fruit mid-season.
RBU9 – Blue Fortune Selection – Russian origin
Blue Fortune is F2 from L. kamtschatica. They fruit mid-season.
RBU10 – Night Mist Selection – Russian origin
Blue Trumpet, Classic, Larisa, Night Mist and Sweety Blue are F4 L. Turzcaninowii. Free pollination inside of this grouping. They fruit early season.
RBU11 – Honey Gin Selection – Russian origin
Blue Toy, Honey Gin, Honey Glen and Victoria. They are F4 L. Turzcaninowii. Free pollination inside of this grouping. They fruit early season.
JBU12 – Blue Treasure Selection and subgroups – Japanese Origin
They are F3 L. Emphyllocalyx. Open pollinated inside of group F2. They fruit late season.
1. Blue Bear, Blue Treasure, Giant’s Heart, Honey Gold, Mango Blue, Navy Blue
2. Blue Cloud
3. Strawberry Sensation (a unique alpine strawberry taste and late fruit season), Blue Typhoon and Honey Dream
4. Blue Bunny
5. Blue Delight and Blue Fuji
RBU13 – Blue Mountain Selection – Russian origin
Blue Mountain – F3 from L. Kamtschica and daughter of Blue Fortune with open pollination.
RBU14 – Blue Q – Russian origin
Blue Q – F3 from L. Kamtschica
Berries Unlimited’s Honeyberries
Our commitment at LoveHoneyberry is to enable you, to quickly establish a profitable Honeyberry orchard, by eliminating many of the high start-up and ongoing errors associated with a new fruit.
We are very passionate about the opportunities that Honeyberries offers growers (in particular organic) and encourage you to see these initial Honeyberry plant ordering costs as only a fraction of the lifetime revenue potential from fresh or frozen berry sales or Honeyberry value-added products.
We can ship Honeyberry or Haskap in-vitro plantlets or potted plants to most regions in the world, where the plants can thrive.