Siberian Blueberry – Lonicera Kamtschatica
A nice deciduous shrub with modestly sized leaves, very long living
Originally from the Asiatic peninsula of KAMCHATKA, the Lonicera Caerulea Kamtschatica, is inappropriately called the Siberian Blueberry, it is use to the gelid climate of the Bering Sea, widespread in Russia and Japan, where it grows in the wild, it stands up well to our climate in temperatures of down to -30°C.
The flowers are also indifferent to late frozen conditions and are able to tether to points of cold of -10°C
On the contrary to almost all the true blueberries (Vaccinium Myrtillus) which is prolific only in substratum acid soils, the Siberian Blueberry adapts to all terrains, even though it prefers that of an acid tendency as that of whereit is found to grow in the wild in North East Asia and Northern America where the terrain is rich in calcium.
FLORA AND FRUIT
Those who are fond of the Siberian Blueberry are delighted by its profusion of its small perfumed, delicate yellow flowers.
It produces a notable quantity od sweet fruit at the beginning of Spring, 5/7 KG per adult plant which are similar to berries.
They are Self pollinating, but for a larger production it is advisable to have two or three other plants of the same variety so as to help with cross pollination.
The fruit of The Siberian Blueberry are similar in shape and colour to that of the common blueberry, (as of her its common name), long and narrow, they can exceed two centimeters in length, and they form on branches of at least one or two years old.
They reach complete maturation in our climate 10/15 days before the strawberry thereby becoming the first natural fruit to pick of the season.
USE AND HEALTH PROPERTIES
Excellent when eaten just picked in the preparation of jams, juices etc. They have a thin peel and very small seeds which can be eaten. Ideal in the preparation of tasty ice creams because it doesn’t leave a fastidious aftertaste as the Mountain Banana can (see Asimina Triloba) the taste of the Siberian Blueberry is even difficult to describe because it doesn’t come under the heading of anything we are used to: it is a mix of flavours which recalls blackcurrant ,rhubarb, blueberry and raspberry, and, which, according to its stage of maturity, ranges from, sweet, sour or slightly bitter.
Rich in vitamin C and D, it has a high content of potassium, with Ca, P, Mg and Na in small quantities, and notable amounts of antociani which are strong agents which function as antioxidants, anti rickets, anti-ageing and modifies the P cell in oxygen and cancerous cells and contains notable capillararothrope properties (see Giant American Blueberry).
PRUNING AND CULTIVATION
Fruiting on young branches, potting is very easy: it is sufficient to eliminate the old branches or rather those which spoil the esthetics leaving a proportionate number of young branches according to the size of plant.
It is considered a biological plant, as is the Asimina Triloba (see), nowadays it is not known to suffer from parasites or fungus and therefore does not require any type of treatment.
The waxy covering which covers the mature fruit (the bloom) and the fluff which covers the leaf before it falls in winter can appear to an observer to be the residue of a treatment: instead it is a secretion produced by the superficial cells to protect it from the UV rays thereby impeding excessive dehydration.
Watering is important for the first two or three years, until the root system is well developed, then except, in the case of extreme drought, it won’t be necessary.
To maintain the plant a good ternary fertilizer integrated with microelements, or a very mature organic fertilizer (remembering that it enjoys soil which is generally acid) should be given at the beginning of the season protecting it against premature, physiological leaf fall, we can maintain the density of the leaves until early Autumn
By fertilizing again in early august (not beyond).