Honeysuckle : Sweet Breath of Spring

jchismar honeysuckle
Japanese Honeysuckle – Lonicera japonica

“And I can taste that honeysuckle and it’s still so sweet” ~ Little Big Town

Rounding out my wife Amy’s duplet of Spring unfailing foraging finds is aromatic honeysuckle.  The other treat, mentioned previously, is teaberry. Last Friday my wife kindly allowed me to sleep in while she and Fleur went for their morning walk. Their adventure led the two through Watsessing Park.

When I rolled out of bed, after they returned home, I checked my phone and found Amy sent me this photo of honeysuckle. I was jealous because I’ve been waiting for these treats to bloom. I have to admit honeysuckle is not on my radar because it’s usually something Amy so quickly identifies and mentions. This year, due to my growing interest in foraging and this blog, I’ve been keeping an eye open for the snack.

In previous years I can recall Amy presenting me a delicately extracted stamen of the honeysuckle flower allowing me to taste the sweet nectar. When I had the opportunity to visit Watsessing park I gently tugged a stamen and it split in half. Impatient, I just snipped a whole blossom and chewed on it. The bloom tasted like a flower with an appetizing dusting of powdered sugar. Success!

A word of warning for new foragers, myself included, many varieties of honeysuckle have poisonous berries and leaves. Lonicera japonica, the variety of honeysuckle which grows in my neighborhood, is not a toxic variety. Please investigate the safety of your specimens before making a meal sized portion of honeysuckle from your neck of the woods.

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