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July 11, 2011

Picture of the week (Honeysuckle)

Filed under: Outdoors,Picture of the week,Wild Edibles — Tags: — Marcus @ 6:52 am

So once again, its been awhile since I have posted, same reason as before, summers are very busy for me 🙂

This weeks picture is of a honeysuckle bush that is loaded down with berries.  I found this at Paul & Jess’ new farm when I went out for a walk before anyone else was up on Sunday.  It took me awhile to identify it, all the matches on the fruit led to pin cherries or choke cherries or some kind of cherries.  However all cherries have a toothed leaf which this one does not.  It seemed that all the matches I found for the leaf was not close to the fruit it is bearing.  I ended up just searching Google for “Trees with red berries” and an hour or so later I had a pretty solid idea this was a honeysuckle.

So the big question, is it edible? Depending on the source you range from delicious to deadly.  There is a LOT of misinformation out there on honeysuckles from my research, and it seems to come down to the fact that there are quite a few species of honeysuckle.  The general consensus on sites I trust say that the berry is mildly toxic, it won’t kill you, but it will probably upset your stomach and maybe give you diarrhea.  There are a couple of the honeysuckle species that are edible, most notably Lonicera Caerulea (Blue-berried or Sweetberry honeysuckle), this appeared to be one of the only ones with blue fruit, but I did not research that much since the ones I found had red fruit.

If you do want a treat, from my reading, when the tree is flowering you can pick the flower and there will be a dot of nectar at the base of the flower that tastes like honey, it seems that you can eat this from any of the honeysuckle family.

So in summary, very pretty, bright fruit, but for the most part inedible.

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