Sucking or swallowing honeysuckle flower nectar poses no risk. The most you’ll get from eating some honeysuckle berries is an upset stomach.
Honeysuckle’s fast growth and fragrant, eye-catching blossoms make them popular as ornamental vines in gardens and on patios. Despite this, many honeysuckle variants are only mildly toxic, and if left unchecked, many honeysuckle species will take over your yard.
Known botanically as the Caprifoliaceae, honeysuckle belongs to the evergreen to semi-evergreen shrub and vine family. Honeysuckle can be found across the country, with Asian and North American variants as its two main categories.
Honeysuckle plants come in various varieties, some of which grow as vines, and others grow as shrubs. Deciduous or semi-deciduous trees are the most common.
The nectar and flowers of the honeysuckle tree are safe to consume yet can still be considered lethal if consumed in large amounts. Furthermore, honeysuckle berries can make you sick if you eat too many of them.
Flowers occur in pairs or clusters of tubular flowers starting in spring and will continue to appear throughout the season after bloom cycles have finished. Native species’ flowers and berries provide food and nesting places for a wide range of wildlife, including bees, butterflies, and birds, as well as pollinators.
If you’re going to consume honeysuckle berries, make sure they’re the ones marked as edible. One kind resembles an oblong blueberry.
Raw edible berries, such as blueberries, are delicious. Take a handful or add them to a salad, then wash and consume the berries as-is.
Are The Berries on Honeysuckle Edible?
Honeysuckle’s edible version is known as honeyberry. When cultivated for ornamental value in summer, this shrub can also provide a delectable supply of blueberry-like fruits all year long.
Small creamy-white flowers occur in early June against the sea-green foliage. Soon after that, delicious, oblong, blue-black, white-blossomed berries appear.
Honeysuckle berries harm not all animals. As a food source for birds, they’re safe for rats and most horses.
Because of this, and because honeysuckles aren’t identified as a dangerous plant in many poison control systems, gardeners may be perplexed about whether honeysuckles are safe to grow or not. On the other hand, some honeysuckle cultivars may contain poisonous substances that can be dangerous to humans when consumed in sufficient numbers.
Symptoms of honeysuckle poisoning
- Toxic honeysuckle plants can have several adverse effects if consumed in any way. Honeysuckle poisoning symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and mild to severe chest pains.
- The side effects of honeysuckle poisoning are rare and only occur when excessive berries are eaten. On the other hand, Honeysuckle plants can cause severe reactions in some people or animals, such as respiratory failure, convulsions, or even coma.
- Do not induce vomiting if poisoning symptoms are present. Instead, rinse with water after removing all plant bits from the mouth or hands.
- If you or your pet eats enough deadly kinds of honeysuckle, it can cause significant disease even though honeysuckle itself is not regarded particularly dangerous. Medical attention is recommended regardless of whether you believe poisoning has occurred due to the potential for life-threatening reactions.
Are Honeysuckle Berries Poisonous to Humans?
Humans should not consume honeysuckle berries. If honeysuckle berries are consumed, knowing the variety is critical.
Even while most honeysuckle species aren’t harmful, there are a few that are. These are only mildly toxic to adults and older children, but they can be dangerous to younger children and animals.
Toxicities range from non-poisonous to mildly hazardous, depending on the species. For example, the colorful fly honeysuckle berries may be moderately poisonous, especially if consumed in large amounts.
For example, honeysuckle berries can cause minor poisoning symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, dilated pupils, and an elevated heart rate. However, respiratory failure, convulsions, and coma may occur if significant amounts are consumed.
Honeysuckle berries can make you sick if you eat too many of them. Honeysuckle blossom nectar, on the other hand, is safe to eat.
Lonicera fragrantissima, for example, isn’t considered toxic. However, the berries on this plant are bright red and only appear in pairs.
A person may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and an accelerated heartbeat after consuming large quantities of potentially poisonous berries. Respiratory suppression, coma, and death have all been described in the most severe cases.
Instead, the California Poison Control Center advises people to wash their hands, rinse their mouths, and drink small amounts of water to flush out any leftover plant debris. Take a sample of the consumed substance with you if you seek medical attention.
If you are not aware of what honeysuckle berry species you’ve eaten, consult your state poison center or go to the hospice right away.
What Type of Honeysuckle Is Edible?
Foragers should be cautious when foraging in the honeysuckle genus. Edible and poisonous components mix and combine to create this product.
It’s important to know which honeysuckle variant you cultivate, and which component is usable, and in what way before consuming it. Some are delicious, while others can put a stop to your heartbeat.
It can swiftly take over wide-open spaces, forcing out other plants because honeysuckle is such an aggressive vine. Since it only blossoms for a short time in the summer, you can only identify this plant by looking at its leaves during the rest of the year.
Honeysuckle flowers can be used in numerous ways, such as in salads or even as jellies. You can eat the berries of some honeysuckle varieties, but you must exercise extreme caution when consuming them because some honeysuckle berries are poisonous.
Honeysuckle blossom nectar consumption is a well-established summer habit, particularly among children. The nectar is accessed by pulling on the flower’s stalk towards the base.
As a result, a bead of nectar forms on your tongue, tempting you to take another bite. If you utilize just edible honeysuckle kinds, you can use honeysuckle in your cooking.
The first step in gathering edible wild honeysuckle vines is to look for them. Varieties with edible fruits include:
- Lonicera villosa
- Lonicera utahensis
- Lonicera periclymenum
- Lonicera villosa solonis
- Lonicera kamtchatica
- Lonicera hispidula
- Lonicera ciliosa
- Lonicera chrysantha
- Lonicera caprifolium
- Lonicera angustifolia
- Lonicera affinis