What's the verdict on Honeyberries...are they tasty?


#1

Title says it. I’ve been pondering getting some, but are they really good for fresh eating? Are they actually better for cooking or simply better than nothing due to their early ripening?


#2

All three, some are more tart, some are sweet, depends on cultivar. Little info on this at all! The Japanese ones tend to be sweeter, but some of the Russian cultivars are sweet too! The tart ones are excellent for jam. I find the flavor, rich, complex, delicious! Even the tart ones! I can’t make suggestions on which are which. I have not grown them long and can count all my harvest on my hands and feet, I have tried less than 20 berries.
An educated guess , but I think the Japanese cultivars Maxie and Solo are a good place to start.The Japanese/Russian hybrids also look excellent but are so new, who knows? I don’t have any of these, but thinking of adding two.

Also these are like blackberries, well even worse. It is suggested to let hang once blue for 3 weeks. If green inside unripe. 3 weeks?!! The birds will have them all by then!

I want to know how to propagate.these plants. I’m going to try air layers.

In the future, I’m looking at making wine with them too.


#3

The only reference to taste I found only included a few.
https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/CarringtonREC/documents/northernhardyfruitevaluationprojectrd/docs2012/2011-12-haskap-and-honeyberry-update


#4

I agree with Drew. I’ve had a small sample size but really enjoyed them. And besides tasting good, they also have a nice, almost chewy texture.


#5

When I was a kid, I lived in Russia, and there were no any native fruit around May and first half of June. I mean - no fruit at all other then in some very expensive markets where you could buy fruit from south and that was off limits for our budget. Literally, first ripe berry in our garden was Honeyberries. They were bitter-sweet, tart, but oh, boy, how much I liked to eat them. Now - when all winter long we have any type of fruit and berries, I do not even plant them - I don’t think they will compete with what is sold in supermarkets :slight_smile:.


#6

I always assumed they tasted a lot like blueberries.


#7

I think one of the tricky things about honeyberries is that you have to leave them on the bush for at least another week after they look ripe, otherwise they’re too tart.


#8

All we have to do is find the best ones. Once I have a decent crop, I’ll report. . I should get some this year, not many though… .
These plants grow the most in spring. Slower to grow in late summer. best to care well for them early to keep plant healthy.


#9

Hm…perhaps I’ll wait to hear a few more reports to decide which varieties to get. In the mean time I’ll have to figure out where in the world to plant them! Maybe I don’t need that flower bed out front…


#10

I think they taste about like grapefruit. Definitely not blueberries. They are worth planting for some variety and the health benefits. They don’t seem to be heavy producers, so you won’t get enough to tire of them.


#11

This is exactly my way of doing things. :slight_smile: Having full garden, small orchard, berry bushes, and also flower bed and roses on the lot of 0.15 acre that also includes house, two sheds and parking for 3 cars is not easy! I am moving my decorative perennials to my neighbors:slight_smile:. And every time I fit in another tree I decide - that is it… No more! Until I figure out that let’s say persimmon can grow here too. :grin:


#12

Mine to me taste like a raspberry-blueberry, both awesome, and so are good tasting honeyberries.


#13

The honeyberries are tart, the best have some sweetness in them, the worst ones have bitterness, because the wild honeyberries are very bitter. Last summer I was in Russia in June and my mother has several bushes of honeyberries, they propagated over years in the garden. They were quite plentiful and I got tired of them. I sprinkled sugar on top and then they were quite agreeable with me :slight_smile:. They are valuable as the first berries of the season and not so bad in jams and compots. Also many black currants or blackberries have quite sour taste, but still are very popular, you would probably like honeyberries if you like those.


#14

Information definitely is sparse.

I haven’t tasted many honeyberries but they can taste really good when fully ripened. I got several little plants after tasting an excellent tasting Cinderella honeyberry at a nursery. It wasn’t bitter or sour. Definitely need to let them hang long after they change color.

Air layering should work well. I was able to root a cutting and ground layer a branch.

I’m thinking the later ripening varieties would probably work best this far south (zone 6) but it’s just a guess.


#15

What method did you use? Dormant cutting? Asking as I can grab some right now and try!

From researching I would agree. More cultivars are coming out all the time. Berriesunlimited has about 40 cultivars for sale. I heard you get micro plants, but hey, lot’s of selection, They pretty much all have the same description. I did notice in their multiple plants offers, a group for fresh eating, jam, muffins, and wine. So that should help choose at least their cultivars. I want more, but I’m going to wait, my plate is full and running off the sides.

Proven winners is now offering 8 cultivars. 4 are Japanese. The new Japanese plants are dwarf, Honey Bunch and Sugar Pie, probably good for container culture. No doubt these are sweet ones with those names!
Solo and Maxie by Proven Winners are Maxine Thompson releases. No doubt, the other two probably are also. Her Haskaps, many of them are now approaching 10 years of trials. Some have a brix of 15. Most are around 13.


#16

I propagate them by mist or fog,either cuttings taken dormant or a little hardened off,when they are growing. Brady


#17

Yeah that’s a great method, the best really. One day I will have to make a set up.
Air layering tough is so easy, once done, you just wait. I saw a method for blueberries I’m going to try.


#18

After PW branded goji as Sweet Lifeberry, I’m suspicious of any fruit marketing from them…


#19

It sure does seem like a lot of these non-mainstream fruits turn out to be disappointing. I remember the hype of Goji berries. A lot of people planted them and I’ve never heard a single person say they liked them enough to continue growing them. Fruits like Goji, Aronia, gooseberries, Honeyberries, service berries, etc have a wonderful presence in fruit catalogs but none of them have been able to out perform raspberries, blackberries, grapes, etc in the mainstream market. I for one have limited space and if these unusual edibles don’t bring their A game I would rather have a fruit that I love like blackberries. Now if I had a huge farm and plenty of room to test these things out I’d undeniably do it. But there have been so many reports saying Goji berries suck that I’m not going to bother.


#20

I myself like the company, I have bought some exceptional ornamental plants from them. Very impressive Rose of Sharon plants. And others too. It appears the dwarf haskaps just released are sweeter than Solo and Maxie which they describe as Sweet-Tart.
PW also sells the honeyberries developed in the Czech Republic, as do many nurseries. One they describe as the sweetest, Sugar Mountain Blue.

Everybody is different. I myself put honeyberries above blackberries. Marionberry maybe can compete, but most do not from my very limited experience with honeyberries. I grow over 15 different blackberries, I know them, and I like honeyberries more, much more. Maybe even more than blueberries, they have a much richer taste.
I’m not the best judge though as I love all that fruit you mentioned. I never tried Goji, although I do know many are not good, some are excellent. In China it is a mainstream fruit.Gooseberries rock, and I like serviceberries too!
I have about 20 raspberry cultivars, and I do like them better, but I like finding new and unusual tastes. For example I will always grow the rest of my life, Magnolia berries, they are completely inedible fresh. As a tea, I died and went to heaven. About as good infused in vodka too! I was drinking my magnolia berry infused vodka in pink lemonade, and thinking nobody else in the world probably even has, let alone drinking magnolia berry infused vodka.