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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.

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

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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

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