Weed Identification

Australia > > Himalayan Honeysuckle

Himalayan Honeysuckle

Leycesteria formosa

Alternative Name(s): Elisha's Tears.

Family: Caprifoliaceae.

Form: Shrub

Origin: Native to western China, India, Nepal, Burma.

Flowers/Seedhead: Flowers: In drooping compact spikes, to 10 cm long. Flowers purple to white, to 2 cm long. Flowers mostly spring and summer.

Description: Deciduous multistemmed shrub to 3 (rarely to 4) m high. Stems erect, hollow. Leaves ovate with pointed apex, to 15 (rarely to 24) cm long, to 8 (rarely to 12) cm wide, lower surface paler than upper surface, margins entire or shallowly toothed, on a stalk to 2 (rarely to 5) cm long. Fruits ovoid, to 10 mm long. Seeds ovoid to ellipsoid, to 1.5 mm long, brown.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by opposite leaves joined by a ridge across the stem; flowers surrounded by purple bracts, petals white to pale pink and mostly joined with 5 almost equal lobes; fruits hanging and dark crimson when ripe.

Dispersal: Spread by animal dispersed seed and water dispersal of fruit and seed.

Purplish bracts around flowers & fruit

Notes: Garden escape in moist gullies and high rainfall areas. A major weed in Mt Buffalo National Park, Victoria and considered to be an important weed in the Queenstown area, Tasmania. Also an increasing problem in the Blue Mountains, NSW.


    Flora of Victoria. N. Walsh and T. Entwisle (eds), 1999, Vol. 4, page 646. Flora of NSW. G. Harden (ed), Vol. 3, 1992, pages 149150.

Flowering in December
photo J.R. Hosking

Hollow stem and opposite leaves joined by a
ridge across the stem

photo J.R. Hosking

This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card S19.
More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.

It has also been included in the 'Jumping the Garden Fence' report (WWF-Australia PDF - 1.19mb) which examines the impact of invasive garden plants on Australian agricultural land and natural ecosystems.


Australia > > Himalayan Honeysuckle


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