THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST
Lonicera caerulea L. subsp. edulis (Turcz. ex Herder) Hult6n. (Caprifoliaceae).
Previous knowledge. Lonicera caerulea subsp. edulis is a deciduous shrub native to northeast Asia (Ohba 1993). In portions of its native range Hult6n (1930)
and Ohba (1993) described it as common in meadows and moderately shady
forests. This subspecies is cultivated for its glaucous, blue, edible "berries,"
which are actually two fleshy ovaries that are so tightly enclosed by a fleshy
cupule of bractlets that they appear to be connate over their full length (Rehder
1903); these are suitable for jam and jelly (Whealy and Demuth 1993). Also
treated by some authors as a
variety of L. caerulea or as a
0, species, sweetberry honeysuckle has apparently not
been reported as a non-cultivated member of the flora in
North America or elsewhere
beyond its native range (Ran~ dall 2002). Bailey (1949) asserted that L. caerulea was
naturalized in North America,
but there do not appear to be
specimen collections to support this. USDA NRCS
(2010) indicated an Ontario
record of L. emphyllocalyx,
recognized by some (e.g.,
Ohwi 1965) as an old-world
variety of L. caerulea, but
that record seems to be based
on material in cultivation (L.
Brouillet, personal communication, 6 April 2010).
Significance of the report.
About 25 shrubs of L.
caerulea subsp. edulis were
observed in a woodland on
the rural outskirts of Duluth,
FIGURE 1. Vigorous first-year stem of Lonicera caerulea Minnesota, distributed irregusubsp. edulis, showing connate stipules and superposed lat- larly within a polygon of
eral buds as they appear during the growing season. Photograph courtesy of Raymond G. Barnes. ~125 m2. The sweetberry