Native north american honeyberry


was looking through HBUSA website this morning and came across a article about mountain fly honeysuckle ( Lonicera villosa ) its native from Maine to Minnesota south to Pennsylvania and through out most of Canada. its a little slower growing than commercial honeyberries but the plants and fruit are similar. I’m going to have to keep a eye out for this one this spring. likes to grow near wet bogs , fens and around water sources. the plants , flowers and berries look identical to the commercial honey berry, though smaller. be neat to grow these natives near my other honey berries. I’ve read they are easy to propagate from cuttings.


I’m pretty sure I’ve seen these in the woods and trails near my office. I watched it all summer, but I never did catch when it fruited, so I wasn’t able to confirm. I’ll have to keep more careful track this year. Definitely on my list of things to try.


if you do confirm this is what you’re seeing could i possibly get a few cuttings of it? ill also look more closely here as well next spring. there are a few bogs in the area i may revisit. been looking for cloudberry which is native here as well and grows in similar conditions.


Definitely! I remember finding cloudberry when I was working on an island off of Acadia doing seabird research. Pretty good stuff, tasted like a decent raspberry if I remember correctly. Trying to remember if I saw it anywhere else on MDI…


I’m going to have to look now too. It’s supposed to be native to my county from a quick online search.


Hmm… for cloudberry, USDA only has county level records in ME for Washington, Franklin, Oxford, and Cumberland. So the mountains and way downeast. That might just mean no one who reports to the USDA has looked, though. Baxter SP might be worth a look if you ever get down that way.


Here’s about as close as you’re gonna get to GPS coordinates:


I just have to say that cloudberries are really not worth the effort, imho.
I grew up in Newfoundland and they are highly valued there. I have tried them in a variety of different forms and none were good.
They also basically produce one berry, on a single stalk, in bogs and don’t seem very cooperative about cultivation.
I understand wanting to try them, I’m all in on new/old plant food trials, but don’t get your hopes up. (Or put too much effort into it)


thanks for the info. been to Acadia many times but never came across them. found some crowberry on Cadillac mtn. though.


i kinda thought they we over hyped but was still curious. I’ve always wanted to get to Newfoundland. my stepsons in N.S so i may get there yet!


Saw the description and was excited for a moment, until I confirmed what I have here in S. Indiana and fight spreading is the Asian Bush Honeysuckle Lonicera Maackii. It commonly gets over 6 feet tall, and is as invasive as the vine. Hope to see more about this native villosa, looks interesting.


most of the asian ones are vines and are invasive.


No vine honeysuckle around here, but lots of bush honeysuckles from Europe and Asia. The stuff can take over when conditions favor them.


I called up my friend who lives in Blue Hill yesterday, who if anyone knows where to find these around there, it’s her. She says she sees the honeysuckles everywhere along the roads, and that the road to her cranberry bog is pretty well lined with them. They leaf out before most everything else and have the distinctive yellow paired flowers. Usually about knee high-ish. She wasn’t sure about fruiting time, as the fruit is held under the foliage and the plants fade into all the other greenery by then.

As for cloudberry, she said she’s seen it around, but usually an isolated few here and there, rather than dense stands. The habitat that comes to mind for her are high boggy places, like wet spots on a mountainside. Or Labrador.

Granted, this is all for Downeast Maine, rather than the County, but hopefully it points you in the right direction.


thanks. ill keep that in mind if i go down that way. i may still find some up here. i know of several bogs i can check in may.


Haven’t noticed these honeysuckles or cloudberries on MDI but I’ll have to look out for them this spring. Thanks for pointing this out.


The one place I know for sure I’ve seen the cloudberries is on one of the islands south of the Cranberries. I think the ocean keeps it cool enough in the summer for them.


I’ve found crow berry on cadillac mtn. and what looked like wild ligonberry. i would think with their love of water, honeysuckle would prefer clay soils and near bodies of water. where are you located on MDI? my wifes uncle lives in Trenton.


That’s great to know. There is an abundance of cranberries, huckleberries, blueberries, and bearberries but I’ll have to pay more attention this spring to find some lingonberries. I’m between Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor on the south side of the island.


they are nearly identical to low bush blueberry. the only way i knew was in aug. when we were there the berries were just starting to color up. the plants were only 5-6in. tall.