Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Haskap Blossoms

Lonicera Caerulia L. have not ceased to surprise me. Our biggest plant, a 3-year-old potted Tundra was accidentally left out in the hot sun for a several days in late August and completely dried out. Most of the leaves shriveled up and fell off. Having seen tremendous tenacity in other blue honeysuckles that had come upon hard times, I doused it with water and kept up with the moisture for the next month. But not seeing any new growth, I thought I would have to wait until spring to determine if it survived. Can you imagine my shock to find this gorgeous cluster of blossoms at the end of one of those "dead branches"?

Fall blossoms on 3 year old Tundra, Sept. 27, 2011
Then the question was whether these blossoms would turn into berries. While another blue honeysuckle plant of a different variety is recommended for maximum fruit production, it is possible to get fruit without another plant. And sure enough, this Tundra did not disappoint us. Out of the half dozen or so blossoms, we found three little green berries! Another twenty days or so and they should be ripe!  - Nov. 15 update: no berries matured :-( Guess I'll have to wait 'til spring!
Three berries have formed, Oct. 2, 2011

I have also seen haskap survive after being stripped of all its leaves through accidental weeding. Haskap may need at least a month or more to show any sign of life, so don't give up on them too soon! Only 1.3% of this spring's shipment did not survive transplanting for unknown reasons, and once they get established they are very hardy.    -Bernis, northern MN

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