Honeyberry Fruit
Tundra zone 3 April 23, 2016Indigo Gem zone 3 April 23, 20162016-04-23 Honey Bee.jpgHoney Bee zone 3 April 23, 2016Borealis zone 3 April 30, 2012

Note that all plants on this page are of the species Lonicera caerulea L. whether they go by the name haskap, honeyberry, or Yezberry®. In general, "honeyberry" refers to subspecies such as edulis of Russian origin, "haskap" to subspecies with some emphyllocalyx / Japanese origin, and Yezberry® of pure emphyllocalyx / Japanese origin. It matters not so much what they are called, but matching the bloom times is critical, as most varieties need a companion for pollination.

Haskap/Honeyberry Bloom Chart
observations from zone 3, northern Minnesota and zone 2, U of Saskatchewan plus data from internet sources
Please note that in warmer zones, early bloomers may break dormancy during a winter warm-up, and suffer from subsequent hard freezes, whereas late bloomers will bide their time until spring truly arrives. That is why late bloomers are recommended for zones 6-9.

Very Early Early Mid Late Very Late

Early Blue™
Indigo Gem*
Indigo Treat*

Russian varieties such as:
Berry Smart Blue
(aka Czech #17/Berry Blue™/
Sugar Mountain Blue™


Blue Belle™ (Tomchika)
Blue Bird™ (Sinyaya Ptitsa-short bloom time)
Blue Lightning™ (Zarnitsa)
Blue Nova™ (Novinka)
Blue Sky™ (Valery #2)
Smokey Blue™ (Dimka)
Polar Bear™
Polar Jewel™

USDA zones 2-5 overlap 90-95% with most early bloomers for good pollination:
Honey Bee*

Start and finish blooming a few days later:

Boreal Blizzard*
-80% overlap with Tundra/Indigo/etc.
-poor fruit set with Aurora

Boreal Beast*
-starts same as Blizzard
-stops 5-7 days later than Blizzard

Blue Forest™ (Madagan)
Boreal Beauty*
-starts 4-5 days later than Beast starts

zone 3, 2019 data Minnesota: - starts a week after Aurora/Blizzard/Beast start
zone 2 Saskatoon, SK: -starts 4-5 days after Aurora/Blizzard stop and starts 1 week after Tundra/Indigo stops

2019 zone 3 Minnesota: followed several days later by
Blue Mist™

then followed by:


Blue Hokkaido™
Blue Pacific™ (F1-9-58)
Blue Pagoda™
Blue Velvet™ (Kiev No. 8)

Honey Bunch™
Sugar Pie™
Blue Moon™ (Sergie)

A few days later: Blue Sea™

* University of Saskatchewan release
Note that there may be considerable overlap betweend ajacent bloom times in zones 1-3, and less overlap in warmer zones.
Some overlap may occur with a variety that has already stopped blooming, if the blossoms remain on bush
(i.e. wind/rain has not taken down the blossoms)

Selections that are known to be somewhat self pollinating:
Indigo Gem

Bloom Data from Zone 3, Bagley, MN (The Honeyberry Farm)
- note that honeyberries send out a few initial early blossoms, dates noted below, but can take up to 3 weeks for all blossoms to open, depending on variety and weather.

2017 Blossom Tour May 14
Picture Gallery
04-17: early - first blossoms (1% blossoms open on bushes)
04-26: ice for 2 days (3% open)
05-04: early - full bloom, mid - some bloom
05-10: early - mid in full bloom, Solo 20% bloom, Maxie 0%
05-17: early - mid 10-30% finishing, Solo 100% in bloom, Maxie and other late bloomers ~50% in bloom
06-05: first early berries turn purple
06-16: 70% early berries turned blue
06-25: started harvesting early berries Berry Blue, Indigo Gem, Tundra
06-28: started Borealis harvest
07-10: Aurora and Honey Bee ripening
07-13: harvested Maxie 15 Brix (nicely ripe)
07-16: harvested Honey Bee (very ripe but still fairly firm and very good)

05-06: Tundra/Indigo Gem
05-08: other very early varieties
05-13: up to 75% blooms open on early varieties
05-14: Borealis, Honey Bee and Solo(TM) blossoms open
05-15: a lot of blossom drop on early varieties indicating good pollination
05-16: Kawai(TM)
05-26: Berry Smart Blue, Aurora, Borealis, Honey Bee, Tundra and Indigos 95% or more done, Thompson plants still blooming

2019 - long cool April, bloomed quickly when weather hit 50s F and nights above freezing in mid May
05-09: Berry Smart Blue (aka Czech #17), Blue Bird, Indigo Gem
05-12: All early varieties, bumble bees buzzing
05-14: Aurora, Borealis, Honey Bee, Blizzard (also Nanking Cherry)
05-20: Beauty (data on Beast unavailable) (apricot) - all honeyberry bushes still have some unopened blossoms
05-20: native Amelanchier alnifolia - juneberries (Canadian saskatoons still not open)
05-23: Blue Mist, Kawai, Solo, 85-19
05-25: Maxie, Tana
05-27: Chito, Honey Bunch, 85-19, Pirika, Taka, Sugar Pie, Blue Moon, Blue Hokkaido, Blue Pagoda, (Juliet cherry)
05-28: Keiko, (Carmine Jewel cherry)
06-02: Earlies 90% finished, Boreal Blizzard/Beauty/Beast and other lates full bloom
06-06: Carmine Jewel cherries 90% finished, Evans full bloom
06-07: First purple berries on Cinderella, Sugar Mountain Blue, Tundra (but very few)
06-10: Lates 95% finished

2 Lonicera caerulea L. typically blossom over a 2-3 week period, with blossoms opening throughout this time, dependent on weather. That is why not all berries ripen at the same time. Cool weather prolongs the bloom season, while warm weather shortens it. In zones 3 and colder, where spring bursts upon us fairly quickly, there can be a fair bit of overlap between adjacent categories with a difference of just a couple of days. Here in northern Minnesota, the late bloomers usually begin blossoming during the last week of the early bloomers. However, heavy winds and rain may take down early blossoms while not affecting the unopened buds of later blossoming cultivars.

Age of plant affects bloom time. Older bushes will blossom sooner and produce larger berries than young plants.

Some varieties like Borealis and Honey Bee may send out a few early blossoms but delay full bloom, indicated by another category. In 2016 at the U of Saskatchewan, Boreal Beast started blooming 4-5 days earlier than Boreal Beauty, but finished at the same time*.

While we attempt to categorize each selection according to its bloom time, we can't guarantee they will perform the same in all locations. We are still gathering feedback regarding bloom times in different zones and grower feedback is much appreciated. Note that variation exists in the Early category but sufficient overlap occurs to be very compatible both in blossom and ripening for zones 1-4. Borealis and Honey Bee blossom just a few days later but taste better a few days to a week or more later.

Initial reports indicate that Borealis did NOT overlap with Early Bloomers in zone 6, 2016.