Blue Honeysuckle

Denomination: 'Aurora'
Botanical Name: Lonicera caerulea
Applicant/Holder: University of Saskatchewan
Crop Development Centre
4D36 Agriculture Building, 51 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7N 5A8
Breeder: Robert H. Bors, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Application Date: 2012-06-13
Application Number: 12-7637

Variety Description

Variety used for comparison: 'Honey Bee'

Summary: The plants of 'Aurora' have a semi-upright growth habit whereas the plants of 'Honey Bee' have an upright growth habit. 'Aurora' has a longer leaf blade than that of 'Honey Bee'. The fruit of 'Aurora' is narrow oblong shaped with a medium sized eye opening whereas the fruit of 'Honey Bee' is ovate shaped with a small sized eye opening. The fruit of 'Aurora' does not have tufts of hairs at the apex whereas the fruit of 'Honey Bee' does have tufts of hairs at the apex.


PLANT: medium to strong vigour, semi-upright growth habit, medium branching, mid-season bud burst
ONE-YEAR OLD SHOOT: no lenticels, absent or very sparse to sparse density of pubescence, dark to red brown bark, strong development of adventitious buds
SHOOT TIP: absent or sparse pubescence, medium to strong glossiness of bark, strong intensity of anthocyanin colouration

LEAF: moderately elongated, rounded apex, sparse pubescence on lower side, medium to dark green on upper side
STEM-CLASPING LEAF: medium to large, glabrous

FLOWER: flowering begins early to mid-season, sparse density of pubescence on corolla tube, horizontal attitude, style shorter than anther
SEPAL: medium length

FRUIT: ripening begins mid to late season, narrow elliptic in cross section, narrow oblong in lateral view, rounded shape of calyx end, medium size of eye opening, rough surface, no tufts of hairs at apex
FRUIT SKIN: medium to strong bloom, medium to dark intensity of blue colour

Origin & Breeding History: 'Aurora' originated from a controlled cross made in 2007 at the Univeristy of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The cross was made between the variety 'Solovey' and a proprietary selection from the Maxine Thompson breeding program. 'Aurora' was selected in 2011 for its flavour, productivity and fruit size.

Tests & Trials: The comparative trial for 'Aurora' was conducted during the 2016 growing season at the University of Saskatchewan Horticulture Plots in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The trial consisted of 5 plants per variety grown in a single row with 0.6 metres spacing between plants. The distance between rows within the trial was 3 metres. Observations and measurements were taken from 5 plants, or parts of 5 plants, of each variety. Mean differences were significant at the 5% probability level based on a paired Student's t-test.

Comparison table for 'Aurora' with reference variety 'Honey Bee'

Leaf blade length (cm)

  'Aurora' 'Honey Bee'
mean 6.7 5.7
std. deviation 0.57 0.51

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Blue Honeysuckle: 'Aurora'

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Blue Honeysuckle: Reference variety 'Honey Bee'

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