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



Are breeders really developing 5 or more new improved Honeyberries each year or is it just a marketing technique.
Is anyone getting large quantities of delicious berries from a Honeyberry shurb?


Im guessing in the next decade there will emerge several clearly superior honeyberry strains but right now I think so many are hitting the market, no one knows what is great and what isnt yet. I know I was disappointed with borealis, which was my first variety. I have read enough about aurora to believe it is good, but I just got a bush last year and probably wont get much on it for another year or two. You cant really believe what the breeders say, they hype their products and dont provide enough critical insight. They are cheap enough that Im just grabbing a bunch from different breeders and trying them in my area, to see what I like. I think there is a lot of potential but this is an emerging market and as stated above, breeding/development is in full swing.


I’m fairly new to them, and know yields are not great until plant has a few years on it. I have seen mature plants with hundreds of berries… U of S, Maxine Thompson, and the Czech Republic are developing cultivars. So is Berries Unlimited. The ones I tasted, I liked a lot. And now they have sweeter ones.
So far I’m impressed with the amount of growth. My 2nd leaf plants will produce some, not many, but I got them late, and they were tiny. If I had room i would add more. I have five cultivars right now. Two from U of S, and three from Dr. Thompson’s breeding program. She has Proven Winners distributing her cultivars. She released 4 in 2 years, but those are well tested and probably developed 10 years ago. Brady picked one up from her program before any widely circulated.
These fruit before SWD is around, are hardy, early fruiting, and I think the flavor is much more complex than a blueberry. The color is amazing too, of pure syrup. Recipes for cooking are all over. I have seen over 50 links about them.
It’s rare that a major fruit would arise this day and age, yet it has. Some may hate them, I grow raspberries and currants and these fit right in to my tastes.

I agree a lot of hype, but I also see potential. So not giving up on them. Even very tart, that’s cool with me, I will probably add some of the tart cultivars for cooking.


Im not sure how accurate the yield prediction of this article is, but 20lbs is about 2x what most are predicting.

May 09, 2013

With thousands of Honeyberries in her research program, Lidia Stuart is considered “the best of the best” when it comes to Honeyberry research and development. Her new Honeyberry, Happy Giant LDS PPAF has it all. Huge berries that measure approximately one inch or more in size, a sweet tangy taste and a high yield of an estimated 20 pounds plus per bush per year.

This plant will take Honeyberry production to the commercial level and it won’t be too many years until you see our Honeyberries next to blueberries in grocery stores throughout the United States and Canada.

Born in Russia, Lidia has been breeding and developing Honeyberries for over 40 years. Prior to immigrating to the United States, she worked with the Russian Academy of Science for many years.




OH yea…taste! I’ve already got 2 honeyberries in the ground from last year and another 4 on the way. I guess I should have tasted them first or at least looked into whether they are good or not! haha. I just got so excited about how early they are and how they look that I couldn’t resist the urge to grow them. I appreciate the various links here. thanks


You guys have to stop posting. Now I have to order some!


Well that’s something to look forward to. I’m got about 1/4 lb on my 4 yr old Berry Blue. This year will be 5 yrs so if I get I lb I’ll be happy. I think my Honey Bee will do better but I’ve only had it 2 yrs. It’s time to try some newer cultivars but I think I’ll wait one more year.


Are you looking at that Happy Giant??

Maybe I should split shipping with you…




I was looking at that, but saw it said zones 2-4, so maybe not the best choice?
Looking at the favorites,
I was thinking of Giant’s Heart and Blue Banana. Listed in the Sweetest category, they have them, but not listed on site??! Emailing them now. PM me for what you have in mind? Yeah I need more cuttings from you anyway, I want some green mulberry cuttings as it looks like these are not taking that I took. Although not giving up yet. Everywhere I read said to use green cuttings. A number of others appear to have taken though, if I can keep them alive!?

Yeah so looking at the UK site (Derek copied the charts and put in this thread) Giant’s Heart and Blue Banana are listed as favorites, and are considered sweetest available. As are Honey Delight, Honey Gin, and Zojka.

If you want to order, or whatever absolutely no problem.

Tomorrow I’m expecting Mirella (MP) fig tree, I guy owes me another too, Maltese Falcon, coming soon. Traded a Red Lebanese (Bass) tree for it. I put 4 air layers on my figs today. Thye are starting to wake up, still cold, but need to be out to avoid weak growth. I put most back in tonight, as we should have a frost, some I left out, my back is killing me, worse case I lose breba. Main crop will be sooner then!


the ones you mentioned look good. (giant’s heart and blue banana)

I’ve got 4 in the ground now, so I’ll probably not want more than another 1-2 (especially given that I’ve not yet tried even a single fruit yet). PM me if you find out anything from your inquiry

I have 5 figs I’m waiting on from www.figcuttings.com guess I’ll see what comes in, if they come in this spring. You are welcome to green cuttings, once Illinois Everbearing starts growing. I’m pollarding that particular plant this spring and its more than half-way done, so it should be easy to reach the green-wood once it starts growing.

I don’t do much of the fig shuffle. once they are out, I leave them out. I’ve never had breba that were worth the pain of moving that many large plants each and every evening.

You’re welcome to cuttings of whatever figs you would like, once they are out and growing as well. Assuming everything awakens this spring, I’ve got about 30 different varieties.

I nearly ordered another silver lyre ficus afghanistanica, but I noticed new growth on the one that I thought I had killed last year due to poor watering.



I found the interesting video about new selections of honeyberries made in Russian agricultural station. The video is on Russian with Russian subtitles, and unfortunately most of these varieties would probably never be available in United states. But it might be educational to those who want to know how the mature bushes look like as well as productivity and the size of the berries.

Honeyberry selection from Bakcharskiy agricultural station


Berries unlimited offers over 50 cultivars, many are just renamed Russian varieties. Some have been bred with the Japanese cultivars. Lot’s of opportunities in Russia for American business too. U of S has been exploiting the free trade and developed all it’s cultivars from Russian stock, recently making hybrids with Japanese stock. Ironic as Japanese stock is much harder to get.
We import about 18 billion dollars worth of goods from Russia, and export about 10 billion to them.

Thanks for that video, very cool!


I was not going to get any, but I wanted to try some of the cultivars from Berries Unlimited. Most of the cultivars are selected Russian varieties. I’m sure they had trials and picked the best and renamed them. Also breeding some too, and crossing with Japanese. Some are from Poland also. It’s a cool nursery in many ways. They are wholesale and retail, which is really nice for the consumer. They export ton’s of honeyberries overseas too. Russia has a ban on EU exports, so we (USA) have been supplying them with cultivars. A rather dumb move on Russia’s part. Not only honeyberries but many other products too.

I’ll PM you when I get more details.


given the chance I’d visit Russia in a heartbeat. Outside Sochi is supposed to be an agricultural research area with seaberries, persimmons and tea plants (camilla sinensis).

heck I wouldn’t mind visiting Iran with its Eleagnus snacks and beverages. Not to mention the best tasting pistachios I’ve ever had.

Its not the edible species, but my lonicera fragranitssima (winter blooming homeysuckle) is currently blooming in my front yard. Its got hardiness in spades and blooms its head off as soon as the spring temperatures allow its frozen buds to start swelling most years.



I wish that they stop renaming the varieties or at least provided the real names along with the American names. This way I could search information about them in Russian sources. Russian description is usually more accurate and statistical, whereas the American descriptions are made as advertisements for selling purposes.


Yes, changing names doesn’t help. MSU did that with tart cherry trees.


I was looking for that video yesterday, but its hard to find, being all in russian. Would love to hear a translated or captioned version. The honeyberry branches on that table are amazing, really hoping some of these new varieties Ive added recently end up looking like that, as far as productivity goes! Production on the plant 16 minutes into the video is phenomenal for its size.


Yes impressive, I think many sold here will be the same. All the ones you bought are Russian. Oh Jewel is a tart one, so that’s one to use for syrups and jams.