Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 01, 2011

From: Fairfax, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Nectar from Lonicera sempervirens edible from Fairfax VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is the nectar from Lonicera sempervirens edible?

ANSWER:

We think so, but we got conflicting vibes from Dave's Garden on that. In their introductory portion was this comment about Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle):

"Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested"

The second was one of the contributors' personal experience:

"I noticed no one even commented on the tasty fun of this plant. Both the white/yellow honeysuckle as well as this one have a very sweet nectar inside. As kids and even still today here where I live, we'll pick the flower, bite off the very back end, spit it out and then suck the nectar out of the back of the flower. To this day I still wish there were a way to harvest it for a syrup, if only they made it in greater amounts, but that makes the little treat all the more something to savor and memories to cherish."

Remember, Dave's Garden is a forum, and the comments are all personal opinions volunteered by readers. We did, however, find one of our own previous answers, which details the various honeysuckles, native and non-native, that can be poisonous. Most of the poisonous substances involved berries, and the general consensus that there is so little nectar available (unless you're a hummingbird) that you are probably not going to make yourself sick drinking it.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

More Edible Plants Questions

Will a chile pequin survive winters in Garden City, Kansas
March 24, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I am trying to determine if a chile pequin (Capsicum annuum) can survive Kansas winters. My sister lives in Killeen, TX, and has a couple of these bushes in her yard. She broug...
view the full question and answer

Wild plum tree failing to bloom from Simonton TX
May 04, 2013 - I have a wild plum tree that has been in the ground for 3 or 4 years and it has not ever flowered. Why? I don't know what kind it is. I dug it up from a friends yard. Her wild plum trees have flowere...
view the full question and answer

List of edible weeds from El Paso TX
April 27, 2013 - Where can I find a list of edible weeds that grow in El Paso, TX.
view the full question and answer

Use of cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) for tea
February 20, 2006 - Back in the 50's when I spent the summers with my grandmother south of Hondo, Texas, she use to pick leaves from the cenizo (purple sage) bushes, dry them and then brew them for tea. I asked one of m...
view the full question and answer

Request for wild and edible plant information for Boy Scouts from San Antonio
June 12, 2012 - We are with the Boy Scouts. Is it possible for you to email me information on the Wild and Edible plants at the Government Canyon? WE are teaching our scouts on this subject right now. We have alre...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.