Looks Edible But Isn’t, Part I: Tartarian Honeysuckle

This is the first installment in a little series that has been a long time coming. I originally had another plant slated for the first article, but I found the pictures I’d been looking for on this plant, so here it is.

Tartarian Honeysuckle – Lonicera tatarica

Tartarian Honeysuckle berries (Lonicera tatarica) are NOT edible.

The ripe fruit is a red cherry colored hue, and will bear DOUBLE fruit. They will be side by side and a bit merged with each other..

The Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) is a woody shrub.

Tartarian Honeysuckle – Lonicera tatarica

It is found all over my local area, and is strangely somehow confused by some people with the autumn olive. This is strange to me as Tartarian Honeysuckle berries are double fruit and look nothing like an autumn olive. But then again, it is an unfortunate (and dangerous) tendency amongst some beginning foragers that they make things ‘fit’ the description they have in their head instead of what is before their eyes.

Tartarian Honeysuckle – Lonicera tatarica. Close up of double berries.

I haven’t read anything about the fruits being overly toxic per se, with the most that they’re going to do is give you some digestive issues.Either way, I wouldn’t eat them.

I’ve also noticed that the birds totally ignore them. And birds eat plenty of things we can’t, and plenty of things we can, such as cherries and other fine berries. But if the BIRDS won’t eat it, there’s a sign to leave it alone. As with everything in foraging, when in doubt, don’t eat it.

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Categories: Foraging, Looks Edible But Isn't, Nature, Nature Photos, Plant Photos, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Looks Edible But Isn’t, Part I: Tartarian Honeysuckle

  1. If you had a lot of these in your property, what would you replace them with, or to say it another way, which edibles grow well in the same environment?

    • Trystan Marl Greist

      Honeyberry. That’s an edible honeysuckle bush that makes fruit that looks kind of like a big, rectangular blueberry. Tasty, too.

  2. Marg de Bellefeuille

    Many birds eat these Lonicera tatarica fruit: robins, etc. Cedar wax wings even make special trips!

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