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lonicera standishii

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Hello fellow foragers,

I noticed that the honeysuckle in the winter garden at the Washington Park Arboretum is now flowering.  It smells wonderful!  It's a lonicera standishii.  I seem to remember Arthur saying something about the berries being edible, unlike other honeysuckles.  Am I remembering that right?  I also wonder if the flowers are edible.  I was thinking of trying to make a tea with them.  Has anyone tried making tea with honeysuckle flowers of any kind?


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well shoot, arthur should answer this already. But just a personal fyi, when he says something is edible, I think of it in the more general 'ALJ Edible' rather than the 'General Public Edible'. I mean you'd have to be pretty hard up to sprinkle some of his stuff on cereal in the morning...

but it's good to know in case someday we don't even have cereal in the morning...

And Arthur, should you read this, it's only because your taste buds are so much more sophisticated than ours. Eating Fritos and Ice Cream Sandwiches kind of dumbs down our pallette. etc
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At Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum, Lonicera Standishii and Lonicera fragrantissima grow right next to each other. Both bear highly sweet white flowers in winter, that give rise to red edible berries by April or May. No Lonicera berries are poisinous, but nearly all are too bitter to eat. These red ones are mildly sweet, but the shrubs do make produce enough to be worth growing on that account. The most remarkable thing is the season of edibility --one does not think of April as a month in which ripe berries exist.

Lonicera flowers are often, if not usually, sweet with nectar, hence the name "honeysuckle." You can sip their nectar. But if a hummingbird or insects have beat you to it, the flower may be "dry." And the flowers that I have chewed, were not gratifying.

Arthur Lee Jacobson

Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association
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