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Monofloral honey

Monofloral honey is a type of honey which has a high value in the marketplace because it has a distinctive flavor or other attribute due to its being predominantly from the nectar of one plant species.

While there may never be an absolute monofloral type, some honeys are relatively pure due to the prodigious nectar production of a particular species, such as citrus (Orange blossom honey), or there may be little else in bloom at the time.

Beekeepers learn the predominant nectar sources of their region, and often plan harvests to keep especially fine ones separate. For example, in the southern Appalachians sourwood honey, from a small tree that blooms late is highly regarded. Beekeepers try to remove the previously produced dark and strong flavored tulip poplar honey, just before the sourwood bloom, so the lighter sourwood is not contaminated. During sourwood bloom, there is little else for the bees to forage.

Monofloral honeys are also kept in separate tanks and labeled separately so as to command a premium price.

Some types of monofloral honey

Common name Origin Characteristics & Availability Colour
Acacia Eastern North America and Europe. The main producers are Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania but it is also found in Canada, China, France and Italy. Acacia honey is actually from a false acacia, Robinia pseudoacacia, commonly known as black locust, a tree native to eastern North America and widely planted in Europe. The honey in the US is sometimes labeled "American Acacia". It has a lower acid content than other honeys. Its high fructose content means that it can stay liquid for a long time. Its colour ranges from light yellow to almost colourless.
Alfalfa does not commonly come on the market as a monofloral. white
Apple blossom honey United Kingdom
Avocado dark.
BasswoodLime (linden) blossom (Tilia americana) China, Hungary, Poland and the United Kingdom. water-white or pale honey, although its colouring depends on the time of collection.
Buckwheat Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) honey China, Russia, US Buckwheat was an important crop in the US from about 1930 to the 1960s, which has since faded from use, and buckwheat honey has become scarce in the US. A wild buckwheat Polygonum cuspidatum from a close kin that has become established in the US is naturally more mild than the familiar buckwheat, and sometimes is used to blend with buckwheat, or sold separately as a monofloral called "bamboo." A recent study has shown buckwheat honey to be more effective than over-the-counter cough syrup at treating childhood cough. very dark
Cherry blossom United Kingdom
Chestnut Has the highest mineral content of all honeys. Yellowish-brown in colour
Clover Canada, United States, and New Zealand. Genuine monofloral clover is rare, as most light, mild-flavored honeys are mixed and called clover for the retail trade. Pure monofloral clover is water white in colour.
Eucalyptus Common in Australia monofloral Eucalypt honeys include Yellow Box, Blue Gum, River Red Gum, Ironbark and Stringybark. Tasmanian Leatherwood honey is considered a delicacy.
Fireweed Fireweed honey is produced in great quantities in some areas of western Canada and northwestern US and is considered a premium monofloral. Amber
Fir honey Greece blander tasting than most, but is considered beneficial for stomach ailments. It is light-coloured with white cloudiness
Goldenrod Plants of the genus Solidago sometimes produce large quantities of nectar. With acid soil, adequate moisture and good foraging weather during the autumn bloom, bees can make large quantities of honey from it. Much of it is sold for bakery use, but in some areas it has become a favored monofloral honey. Has a rank odor. golden
Hawthorn United Kingdom
Heather Mainly in the United Kingdom
Kamahi is a common tree New Zealand's rugged native forests The creamy coloured flowers are very attractive to bees and bloom in abundance throughout the Spring. light amber honey.
Kiawe
Lavender Produced mainly in France and Spain
The Tasmanian Leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida) Tasmania
Lehua Probably the rarest Hawaiian Honey Hawaii Lehua Honey is made from the Lehua blossoms of the Ohi'a tree. It is liquid when harvested from the hives but it turns into a creamed sturdy Honey after a couple of weeks.
Macadamia dark honey
Manuka New Zealand Manuka honey is from bees who feed on the flowers of the Manuka bush, also known as the "Tea Tree" to produce a honey that has anti-bacterial properties. Tea tree oil is commonly from the related Melaleuca tree native to Australia and is used as a topical antibiotic and antifungal for wounds that fail to close.
Mesquite Southwestern U.S. The mesquite tree is prized for its sweet-smoky smelling wood, primarily used in barbecues and meat smokers. The honey produced from its flowers also has this distinctive smoky aroma. Dark brown and viscous. Remains semicrystalline even in hot weather.
Nodding Thistle Honey Found extensively throughout New Zealand's Canterbury and Otago Provinces in the South Island and Hawkes Bay in the North Island. Nodding Thistle flowers in late summer. It has a brilliant large mauve head, characteristic of thistles. light coloured honey
Orange blossom honey France, Mexico and Spain; United States (Arizona, California, Texas, and Florida) Is actually made from mixed citrus nectars. It is a thick, very sweet honey. light amber to water white, the lighter colour and milder flavor coming in years when there is a large flow and the honey is little contaminated by other nectars.
Pine Greece, Turkey It is a honey dew honey. Has a faint resinous taste.
Poplar Liriodendron tulipifera Southern Appalachian, US Tulip tree is actually not a poplar, but honey called "poplar" is a favorite regional monofloral honey. In mason jars it looks black, but when held to the light it looks reddish.
Raspberry Honey US Available in some areas where raspberries are grown commercially.
Rata Honey Southern rātā New Zealand One of several species of Metrosideros but is the one that most regularly produces a honey crop. This honey is sometimes in very short supply. The purest rata honey is very white in colour.
Rewarewa Honey
Rosemary France and Spain
Sage
Sourwood US
Star Thistle (Centaurea solstitialis) US, California
Sunflower France and Spain Because sunflower honey crystallizes quickly, becoming soft and easy to spread, it is often consumed in its crystallized state. Pale yellow
Tawari Honey New Zealand. Its origins are the lowland forests of New Zealand's far north. The 'beaujolais' of honeys.
Thyme Honey New Zealand, Greece. Thyme honey is the most popular honey produced in Greece. Thyme continues to flourish today in New Zealand's Central Otago.
Tupelo Tupelo Southeastern US Made from trees of the genus Nyssa which are native to wetlands of southeastern USA. In many areas the forests have been cut over, greatly reducing the supply of the honey. It is favored for some uses because it is very slow to granulate. Northern Florida is a major producer. Honey that is certified by laboratory analysis as purely tupelo brings a premium price.
Viper's Bugloss Honey New Zealand This wild flower covers the hills of the New Zealand Central South Island during summer months. The seed was once used as a treatment for snakebite, which gives the plant its name.

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