Leycesteria formosa

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Leycesteria formosa
Leycesteria formosa.jpg
Leycesteria formosa foliage and flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Dipsacales
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Genus: Leycesteria
Species: L. formosa
Binomial name
Leycesteria formosa
Wall.

Leycesteria formosa (Himalayan Honeysuckle, Flowering Nutmeg, Himalaya Nutmeg or Pheasant Berry) is a deciduous shrub in the family Caprifoliaceae, native to the Himalaya and southwestern China. It is considered a noxious invasive species in Australia, New Zealand, the neighboring islands of Macaronesia, and some other places.[1][2] It is not yet considered a noxious invasive species in Canada or the United States, but many plants with the common name "Honeysuckle" are.

The plant was named by Nathaniel Wallich, director of the Calcutta Botanic Garden after his friend William Leycester, a judge in the native court in Bengal[3]

It has soft, hollow, upright green stems 1–2 m tall, which only last for 2–5 years before collapsing and being replaced by new stems from the roots. The leaves are opposite, dark green, 6–18 cm long and 4–9 cm broad, with an entire or wavy margin. The flowers are produced on 5–10 cm long pendulous racemes; each flower is small, white, subtended by a purple bract. The fruit is a soft purple-black berry 1 cm diameter, eaten by birds which disperse the seeds.

L. formosa became a popular plant in Victorian shrubberies. Attempts have been made in recent years to repopularise the species in Britain with new cultivated varieties appearing in garden centres.

Leycesteria formosa fruit

References[edit]

  1. ^ Silva, L., E. Ojeda Land & J.L. Rodríguez Luengo (eds.) 2008. Invasive terrestrial flora and fauna of Macaronesia. Top 100 in Azores, Madeira and Canaries. ARENA, Ponta Delgada. 546 p
  2. ^ First record of the top invasive plant Leycesteria formosa (Caprifoliacea) in Terceira Island, Azores LUÍS SILVA, J. MARCELINO, R. RESENDES & J. MONI
  3. ^ Edwards's Botanical Register 2. 1839. p. xvi. Retrieved 23 December 2011.