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


Yeah, many I have been adding lately are leaning toward the sweeter side and also Id like to see if the tart variety produces more.



Even yet undeveloped cultivars may be very awesome. Some of the Japanese cultivars are self fertile, so I can see a day when newer hybrids have that feature.


The first part shows honeyberry tasting event held in 2015.
All other parts show the different varieties with short description.
The first variety is called Tomichka and those are larger 12 year old bushes. They show how they collect berries from completely ripened bushes by shaking. It is fast easy and the berries are high quality and are not damaged. The amount that they show is from the same bush shaken on both sides. They show many other varieties noticing the production, taste, size of the berries, the shape of the bush (if it is spread apart and ventilates well), and the ability to stay on the bush and not to fall off. The age of the smaller bushes ranges from 3 to 5 years old. Many have only numbers for the names.
They definitely improved selection of honeyberries in recent years. The ones that I knew were not so large and quite tart. Also they do not seem to be bothered by the bird as I noticed. I had similar experience in Russia. Never had problems with the birds back then.


When I live in Canada and was helping start a community orchard, I got to meet and speak with a couple of the hascap breeders at the University of Saskatchewan. What’s driving the divelopment of new Canadian breeds is that hascap is extremely popular in Japan, more popular than blueberries. Canada at the time entered into an agreement with Japan which basically said that Japan will buy all the honey berries Canada can produce. That lead to a mad dash to develop high quality honey berries that did well in Canada. There is a lot of Canadian government along with Japanese money being dumped into these breeding programs. God bless.


Maybe different birds over there or just the quantity being grown keeps the birds full. The ones in my yard get absolutely raped as soon as the berries turn color if I dont net them.


Judging by that video, the japanese might be better off trading with russia… :smiling_imp:


Berries Unlimited is trading with the UK, as is Canada, funny really because from what I read the Canadians asked for help supplying the UK. Berries Unlimited is going to be a huge nursery much like Dave Wilson Nursery. Largest exporter of Honeyberries in the USA.


Those are the biggest I’ve ever seen! What variety?


Not sure, its in that russian video, think its just a numbered one right now if I remember correctly from the video.


Well we have a lot of Russian varieties, and some do look fairly big.



I finally got to try my first honeyberries. Obviously my first harvest of 6 whole berries is pretty sad compared to those shown above. But this is just the 2ed year for my plants and I was pretty happy to get to try them.

The longer, thinner ones are Aurora. The shorter fat ones on the right are Indigo Treat. I am sorry I forgot to to put a quarter or something down for scale in the photo, but they are on a paper plate and that’s what those ridges over on the edge are, so that may help.

The verdict? I really like them a lot!!! I have no idea how they compare to others and would be interested in having @TheDerek tell me where my 2 fall on the scale of sweetness. The best way I, as an amateur and newbie to honey berries- can describe them is to say they taste a lot like a sour (but not tooo sour) blueberry. A lot of what I’ve read said they don’t taste at all like blueberries but I thought they had a LOT of blueberry taste. And boy are they EARLY, which is a trait I really love about them.


Wow, most of mine dont even have leaves on them yet. Honestly I have a lot of varieties, but I havent harvested any berries off most of them yet so cant tell you much about the flavors from personal experience. I should get some berries from my indigo gem and aurora for the first time this year. I just got chastised by the site for responding to this topic too much so I better keep it short…


OH…I thought all those photos were of your berries and you spoke of having lots of varieties so I thought maybe you had a lot more experience. Anyway, I like them a lot so far. If they get better than this, and I read that they do, then I’m really excited about them.


So did I! I tasted Aurora, first one I had. As far as the scale I think Aurura is a sweet, and Indigo Treat is Sweet/tart. I have little experience here, from what I have read, they need to be blue a week or two before harvest. They should fall off when you shake plant. So they may have sweetened up some. I bought two that are in the Sweet Plus category, but they are not in yet. Mine are flowering now


Very cool, Drew. Did you get your first one already this year??? I’d be surprised if that is the case up where you are since I just picked mine today, but who knows. I’m glad you liked them too. There wasn’t really too much difference in the taste of the two I tried, but some difference. Surprisingly, though, I thought the indigo was the sweeter of the two. However, you may well be correct in saying aurora is the sweeter of the two because the difference I experienced could well be explained by Indigo just being more ripe.

I had read what you said about leaving them on well after they turned blue, and I did leave them a bit, but undoubtedly not as long as I should have and certainly not to the point where they fall off when you shake the tree. Why? You can guess…I was scared to death the birds would steal them! I only have a grand total of about 10 honey berries this year. haha I wasn’t going to set up some big bird protection for 10 berries but also didn’t want to loose the few I had before tasting them, so I’m sure I jumped the gun a little. But in short, I do think all the hype about honey berries and how they are going to be the next big berry may very well be true. I really liked them a lot. And while I personally would prefer them to be sweeter, I bet they would make incredibly good jams, jellies, pies, and other deserts. kind of in the way sour cherries are great in pies or jams but sweet cherries would be a little bland - even though they are better to eat fresh.

Well, keep us posted if you continue to pursue all these Russian, Canadian, Polish, and other sourced plants you’ve mentioned. I’ll let you track them all down (if you find an importer/domestic grower) and tell me which ones are best. I also wish mine were bigger so those in the photos above look promising.


No, last year. I have a few plants up north at my cottage and they produced a few last year. This year will be the first time for the ones down here. [quote=“thecityman, post:77, topic:9256”]
was scared to death the birds would steal them! I

I agree ripe enough! I like them like that myself. Good for cooking too, the tart ones are the best for cooking.[quote=“thecityman, post:77, topic:9256”]
And while I personally would prefer them to be sweeter,

It’s just the start, I expect better cultivars down the road. Although I’m happy with them as is. In Russia, Poland, and other places, they are more mainstream.


Would honey berries be grown as a stand alone small shrub like blueberries or would they grow more like blackberries? Also are they self fertile? I could probably squeeze one in but would rather now have to plant oodles of them


They are not self fertile. I think the growing habit is more like gooseberries and currents. Shoots produce for a few years and renew from the base.