‘- HONEYBERRY (Haskap berry): General Information


Honeyberry or Haskap berry is a medium to large oblong berry with a similar colour to blueberry, but of various interesting and irregular shapes, depending on the variety.

The fruit is virtually unknown outside its original production areas as it is late to be developed due to its relative isolation during Soviet-era Russia and in remote northern Japan. Commercial production is now slowly increasing in various other countries with suitable climatic conditions, and more widespread production is likely as knowledge of the fruit improves.

Honeyberry, on bush

The berry grows on a hardy, thick, upright deciduous bush of 1.0-1.8m height and is adapted to the cold, northern temperate climes of Siberia and northern Japan, even existing within the Arctic Circle. Through varietal selection, various varieties have been developed that can be successfully grown in warmer climates, though production is not successful without a minimum of 1200 chill hours, stable conditions in spring and good summer rainfall.

Fruit are 1.0-1.5g in weight, fleshy and juicy, with an intense bitter-sweet flavour. They are sharp, bitter-sweet fruit, with a flavour of concentrated berries with a wild fruit aroma and a good tanginess. Varieties vary between tart (such as cv. Blue Pinball), tart-sweet (such as cv. Happy Giant), sweet-flavoursome (such as cv. Aurora) and sweet (such as cv. Blue Banana).  Older varieties are harvested with a brix of 15o, but new, sweeter varieties are expected to reach 20 o or more, which will significantly affect the organoleptic properties.

The fruit is highly nutritious, with high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Origin: Western Siberia and Northern Japan. Modern varieties are descended from selections made in Russia and Japan. In the 1950’s, several varieties were developed in Russia, which were later used in Poland, Canada and Czech Republic for breeding of improved cultivars.

Family: Caprifoliaceae – honeysuckles.

Honeyberry (Haskap berry) on bush

Names: Lonicera caerulea; Blue Honeysuckle; Honeyberry; Haskap berry (CA); Sweet Honeysuckle; Zhimolost (RU); Jagoda Kamchatita (PL); Camarise (CA), Geisblatt (GE).

Varieties: Examples of newer and more common varieties:

  •  Early-season, cool zone: Happy Giant, Blue Sveta, Blue Horn, Honey Gin;
  • Mid-season, cool: Aurora, Wojtek, Zojka, Blue Banana, Blue Desert;
  • Late-season, cool/warm: Boreal Blizzard, Giant’s Heart, Fuji Blue;
  • Very late-season, cool/warm: Boreal Beauty, Strawberry Sensation, Blue Typhoon.

Grown In: Russia, Japan, Canada, Poland, UK (Scotland), New Zealand (South Island).

Why Eat Honeyberry?: Honeyberries are highly nutritious fruit with a powerful, deep flavour. High is vitamins and antioxidants, they are a very healthy, versatile fruit and can be successfully used fresh, frozen or processed.

Quality, Buying & Storage: Honeyberries are not readily available in UK at present as commercial production is in the very early stages of development. It may be possible to find farm stall sales of the fruit in the Tayside area in Scotland.

Nutrition (100g serving):

  • High in total phenolics & anthocyanins (highest of all berry fruit)
  • Very high vitamin C:  76% dv (cell health: skin, blood vessel, bone, cartilage; wound healing)

    Honeyberry bush, Scotland
  • Low calories:  2.6% dv (53kcal/100g)
  • Glycaemic Load:   TBA (less than 10 = low effect on blood sugars)
  • Sugars:  6-8% of honeyberries are sugar carbohydrates

(Daily Value (dv) % of a 2000 kcal per day diet from 100g of honeyberry)(Source: Your Essential Honeyberry Guide 2016)

Harvest & Availability: Fresh sales in UK – very limited:

  • January:
  • February:
  • March:

    Honeyberry Haskap
    Honeyberry planting, Scotland
  • April:
  • May:
  • June: Tayside, Scotland
  • July:
  • August:
  • September:
  • October:
  • November:
  • December:



©Good Fruit Guide 2017. Information and data published on www.goodfruitguide.co.uk must not be reproduced or copied without permission of the editor. Recommendations on fruit varieties and types with the very best taste are personal to the editor of Good Fruit Guide, and do not attempt to be exhaustive or supported by verifiable consumer research.  The highlighting of fruit with the very best taste in the opinion of the editor is not intended as a judgement on the taste of varieties and types of fruit not mentioned.


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