Honeyberries (Haskaps)

Honeyberry flowers are not showy.

Aurora Honeyberries - large and sweet.

Honeyberries grow under the leaves, making them hard to photograph

For us, these have been very productive and very easy fruits to grow. If you are looking to get a lot of fruit without a lot of effort, these are a good bet in Fairbanks. Their taste is often compared to blueberries, but we really think that has more to do with their appearance than their taste. Their flavor is something all their own - perhaps something like a blueberry, perhaps something like a passion fruit?

If you love robins, you will love the fact that lots of robins will be attracted to your honeyberry bushes. They seem to really enjoy the fruit. If you love the berries, you may need to put netting over them in order to have more fruit to eat yourself.

Honeyberries do like full sun and well drained soil, but they can do OK in other circumstances, partial shade or wetter soil. One reason that they do alright it wetter areas is that their roots are shallow, but this also means that they do not compete so well with grass. If you are planting them in a lawn, remove sod from an area around the base of the plant. Because honeyberries leaf out and fruit early, they are less affected by shade caused by deciduous trees than some other plants.

Below we have listed the varieties we have growing in our orchard.

Varieties

Aurora - huge, super sweet berries.

Berry Blue - Very large, fast growing bushes, tasty fruit.

Blue Moon - Not as fast growing as Berry Blue, not as early as Kamchatka, not as large and sweet as Aurora. Better tasting than Borealis. A fine, but not remarkable berry

Blue Velvet - these have been growing very slowly for us. We are digging them up this year. Later ripening than most.

Boreal Beast, Boreal Beauty, Boreal Blizzard, - These are new to us this year. We'll update when we can. By reputation, they are quite tasty. Boreal Blizzard is supposed to have a similar taste to Aurora and be even larger (which is somewhat hard to imagine, given how large our Auroras are). Boreal Beast has a long flowering time, which would make it a good pollenizer for many varieties, Boreal Beauty flowers and fruits a bit earlier than Boreal Blizzard, with Boreal Beast overlapping them both.

Borealis - Steve finds these berries unpalatable, somewhat bitter.

Honeybee - We have some tiny bushes of this variety - time will tell how well we like them. They are said to be fast growing plants which produce large berries.

Kamchatka - Very early, productive and tasty. Larger than most, but not as large as Aurora. We have had these ripen in June.

Tundra - The folks at Big M Farm in Nenana speak highly of these berries, both in terms of taste and productivity. The berries are larger than Blue Velvet or Blue Moon.