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Varietal Honeys: Short List of Floral Sources

There are hundreds (if not thousands!) of varietals in the world. Below is a short list with some of those most frequently found at retail (I compiled the list from here and here).

These are honeys that are monofloral – as opposed to those that are made from distinct combination of many flowers from a specific region.

Honey Varietal

Flavor

Color

Acacia (Black locust tree) Mild, slightly tangy, floral, doesn’t crystallize Water white to pale amber
Alfalfa (generally blended) Nearly flavorless to milky, some has spicy notes White
Apple Blossom A hint of apple in the aroma Light to medium amber
Aster Flavor depends on region and species of aster; crystallizes quickly White to light amber
Avocado Fairly strong, buttery flavor Dark amber
Basswood Strong, zesty (becomes minty when mixed with a mild honey) Dark amber
Blackberry Delicate and sweet with a hint of fruit Very light amber
Black Button Sage Slightly herbaceous, slow to crystallize Medium amber
Black Locust Fruity, rare (the trees blossom only every few years) Pale to dark amber
Black Mangrove Thin bodied. Swampy aroma, with a mild, sweet, but brackish flavor. Pale to dark amber
Blueberry Fruity, blueberry aftertaste Medium amber
Buckwheat Strong buckwheat, malty flavor Dark brown
Blue Curls Minty, fruity flavor. Granulates quickly and smoothly Extra light yellow-amber to milky white
Boneset Rank in aroma, but a mellow, herbal, sagelike flavor. Think, heavy, molasseslike texture. Very dark reddish amber
Borage Herbal and floral bouquet with hints of cucumber and orange pekoe tea. Sugary aftertaste. Delicate and silky textures. Slow to crystallize Medium to dark amber, with a gray tinge
Buckwheat Pungent and somewhat earthy with notes of burnt molasses, cherry, tobacco, and plum. Malty. Dark purple turning to deep wine red to black; opaque
Canola Delicate, low acid, crystallizes easily Light amber to white
Carob Seed Bittersweet honey flavor woven with strains of caramel and subtle chocolate. Dark autumn honey
Cat’s Claw Rich aroma. Sweet, mild, and buttery flavor with a hint of iron. Heavy body. Granulates smoothly and with a waxy grain. Water white to medium amber
Chamiso (Rabbit Brush) Bittery overtones Medium amber with reddish tinge
Chestnut Strong, nutty, spicy, a bitter aftertaste (perfect with gorgonzola and parmesan) Extremely dark amber, with a hue similar to chocolate. Sometimes reddish
Clover Tangy and delicate; most labeled “clover” are actually blended; crystallizes easily Water white to amber
Cranberry Mild fruity flavor with tart aftertaste Medium amber
Eucalyptus —Yellow Box, Blue Gum, Red River Gum (U.S. & Australia) Mildly sweet, fruity aftertaste; some varieties have a slight menthol flavor Dark
Fireweed Mild, fruity, buttery Light to medium amber
Gallberry Tart wildflower flavor Dark amber
Goldenrod Robust flavor of wildflower and beeswax Light amber
Heather (Scotland) Slightly bitter with an aftertaste of burnt caramel Dark amber
Horsemint Highly aromatic, spicy, and minty in flavor. Hints of lemon and oregano Clear water white to amber
Huajillo Extremely delicate and distinctive taste that is described as very light, smooth, and tangy. Mild, light colored
Huckleberry Full-bodied Dark amber
Kamahi (New Zealand) Full-bodied, complex Light amber
Kiawe(Hawaii) Rich tropical fruit and menthol flavors. Pearly water white with waxy, golden overtones
Knapweed Bitter, tangy, and astringent flavors Light to medium amber
Knotweed Rich, heavy and robust. A fruitier version of buckwheat honey without the malty flavors Very dark amber with reddish tones
Kudzu A rare honey with a strong flavor Bluish to very dark purple
Lavender Lavender floral Medium amber
Leatherwood(Tasmania) Strong and spicy Dark amber
Linden Spicy Pale amber
Lehua Buttery with lily-like overtones Crystallizes quickly and is made into a light golden cremed honey
Lemon Strongly scented, citrusy, bright, tart, sour, aromatic. Bright amber yellow
Purple Loosestrife Rich, strong and unappealing Extremely dark purple
Macadamia Exotic, rich, not too sweet, with delicious tangy, musky floral undertones. Medium amber to dark, deep amber
Mesquite Sweet, yet warm, smoky, woody, citrus flavors. Medium amber with a brown tint
Milkweed Very heavy in body, fruity, quincelike, slight spicy tang. Water white with a light yellow tinge.
Mint/Spearmint N/A N/A
Nodding Thistle (New Zealand) Delicate floral Light amber
Orange Blossom Hints of citrus-orange and orange blossom Light amber to dark amber
Pine Honey (Turkey) Molasses Dark amber
Prickly Pear Heavily bodied. Medium to dark amber with bright red tint
Pohutukawa(New Zealand) Distinct butterscotch flavor Pale – the whitest honey in world
Poplar (Tulip Poplar) Strong Medium amber
Pumpkin Light with a hint of pumpkin flavor Medium amber
Purple Sage Mild flavor, slow to crystallize Water white
Rata (New Zealand) Mild, rich, almost salty White
Raspberry Will have a mild hint of raspberries; crystallizes as soon as it leaves the comb so is always sold in cremed form Cremed light
Rewarewa (New Zealand) Rich, malty Burnished amber
Rhododendron Medium sweetness, light aroma, and subtle flavors Light to medium amber
Rosemary Fragrant and herbaceous; great with cheese Pale amber
Safflower Milky flavor Amber to dark amber with a slight greenish cast
Sage Herbal notes Medium amber
Sainfoin Sweet, fragrant, and floral with a spicy, delicate flavor. Pale yellow
Saw Palmetto Citrusy and herbal with woody overtones Medium amber
Sidr Applely, rich and buttery. Very dark amber
Silkweed Strong scent and flavor, spicy condiment honey Dark amber
Snowberry Butterscotch N/A
Sourwood Spicy ginger Medium amber
Star Thistle Wet grassy, musky, spicy, anise and cinnamon aroma Extra light amber
Sunflower Distinctive floral aroma; crystallizes easily Light to medium amber
Tahonal Deep and tropical Extra light amber to dark amber
Tamarisk (Salt Cedar) Heavy body, with flavors of molasses and chocolate Dark amber
Tawari Butterscotch Light amber
Thyme Herbal notes Burnt grass
Tulip Poplar Rich, pleasant, sweet, flowery and smoky. Dark amber
Tupelo Medium, complex; slow to crystallize Golden amber with a slight greenish cast
Ulmo (Chile) Anise and violet N/A
Viper’s Bugloss (Borage) (New Zealand) Delicate flavor, floral bouquet Light amber
Wenchi (Ethiopia) Intense flavor with a floral fragrance with notes of caramel and balsamic Yellow-amber with a reddish tinge
White Sage Clover-like flavor, elegant floral aftertaste Translucent yellow
Wilelaiki (Hawaii) Spicy with floral, smoky, peppery flavors. Light to medium amber with a greenish tint
Zambezi (Zambia) Rich, smoky, spicy, and woodsy flavor Dark amber