Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Edible Plants for North Georgia
January 10, 2010 - We are planning a forest food garden in the hollers of the N GA Mountains. Which edible fruit, nut, berry, herb and creepers would be best for this reddish, clay-like soil? The food garden is in...
view the full question and answer

Can beautyberries be used to make jelly from Hodges SC
August 02, 2010 - Since the beautyberry bush berries were used for tea to help with colic, can the berries be used for making jelly?
view the full question and answer

Water requirements for fruit trees in California
January 15, 2013 - Dear Sir; In which of these options (fruit trees) the need for watering in irrigation process is higher than the others: -Olive tree -Nectarines and peaches trees -Hazelnut trees -Pistachios and ...
view the full question and answer

Patience pays off with chile pequin in Austin
September 24, 2011 - Hello. Re my June 08, 2011 message -- Guess what! The chile pequin is finally flowering and setting fruit in its container on my apartment patio. You said patience, you were right, and hooray once aga...
view the full question and answer

Is cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) edible?
December 21, 2012 - I found a post here about cenizo leaves being used for tea, but I'm wondering if the leaves of the cenizo are edible? I have found many recipes for 'brown butter sage' leaves (sauteed often with on...
view the full question and answer

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