Tundra zone 3 April 23, 2016Indigo Gem zone 3 April 23, 2016Honey 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.
Start and finish blooming a few days later: Solo™ Kawai
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
Boreal Beauty* -starts 4-5 days later than Beast starts -stops same as Beast -starts 4-5 days after Aurora/Blizzard stop -starts 1 week after Tundra/Indigo stops) -No data available yet for comparison with cultivars listed below
Tana Blue Hokkaido™ Blue Mist™ Blue Pacific™ (F1-9-58) Blue Pagoda™ Blue Velvet™ (Kiev No. 8)
Blue Moon™ (Sergie) 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:
2017 Blooming / Berry ripening in zone 3, Bagley, MN (Honeyberry Farm) Picture Gallery
04-17: very early and early first blossoms (1% blossoms open on bushes)
04-26: ice for 2 days (3% open)
05-04: very early - full bloom, early - mid some bloom
05-10: very early - mid in full bloom, Solo 20% bloom, Maxie 0%
05-17: very early - mid 10-30% finishing, Solo 100%, Maxie and other late bloomers ~50%
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: first blossoms on Tundra/Indigo Gem
05-08: first blossoms on other very early varieties
05-13: up to 75% blooms open on very early varieties
05-14: first Borealis, Honey Bee and Solo(TM) blossoms open
05-15: some blossom drop on very early varieties due to moderately windy days
05-16: Kawai blossoms open
05-26: Berry Smart Blue, Aurora, Borealis, Honey Bee, Tundra and Indigos 95% or more done, Thompson plants still blooming
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.