strlit66
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Is my Honeysuckle toxic?

We are purchasing a new home that has a lot of Honeysuckle around the property. Reading up on them it seems some varieties are toxic and some or not. I have little kids who would be very interested in these little red berries, so how do you know if you have a toxic variety? Or do you need to just cut them all out?

Thanks
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Is my Honeysuckle toxic?

Most honeysuckle do not have edible berries. The nectar in the flower is edible. You can make a jelly with the flowers, but any green parts must be removed before steeping.

There are a few edible honeysuckle cultivars. Honeyberry is one if them are resembles a long blueberry.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonicera_caerulea


That flower looks very strange for honeysuckle. Is that the same plant? Can you get a close up picture of the flower, leaves, and fruit?

If it's questionable, I wouldn't try it.
Lindsay
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applestar
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Re: Is my Honeysuckle toxic?

I think Lindsay is right. Those purple flowers look like a nightshade vine growing through the shrub. Their berries ARE TOXIC.

BUT IN ALL HONESTY -- it's better to teach your kids which plants are OK to touch and which ones they need to be careful of. Teach them to check with you before putting any plant matter in their mouths and to know when to thoroughly wash hands before eating.

You can't be sure WHERE they might encounter the toxic plants and they may start growing in your garden without you noticing. If you don't have them in your garden, they can't learn.

If they are too young to understand, don't leave them unsupervised in areas that have not been baby-proofed.

I could confidently let my kids pick and crush poke berries to paint with, make fairy hats and dresses with foxglove flowers , etc. but also taught them to not play with those when other kids were over and to warn them not to touch them because I didn't know what they knew and not to do.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Is my Honeysuckle toxic?

I was thinking nightshade, too!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

strlit66
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Re: Is my Honeysuckle toxic?

Thanks I will have to look up Nightshade. I identified it using a plant identification thing on the web so I could have goofed up somewhere a long the line. My big concern with my kids is my 15 month old. We currently have a Red Current plant that she eats off of so I am sure she will think it is the same thing. The new house seems to have this vine like plant everywhere along the fences, so unless I pull it out I feel like I would have to be right on top of her the whole time since they stick stuff in their mouth so fast. If I knew it wasn't really toxic and actually tasted bad I would not be so concerned.

This is the only other picture I have as of now. I didn't really notice any flowers when I was there last. I will have to take note of it the next time I go.

Thanks again.
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JosephsGarden
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Re: Is my Honeysuckle toxic?

Those flowers (5 petals, purple, anther cones) are solanum flowers, not honeysuckle flowers.

The peduncle on nightshade has a flared connection like the fruits shown in the photo. The peduncle on honeysuckle fruits is not flared.

So I'd call it a nightshade as well.

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