Information on Himalayan Honeysuckle

Common Name: Himalayan Honeysuckle
Scientific Name: Leycesteria formosa
Irish Name: Féithleann Álainn
Family Group: Caprifoliaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Himalayan Honeysuckle is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This is a tall (2 metres), deciduous shrub which has escaped into the wild and now is found in hedgerows, woodland and roadsides. It has pale pink-purple, funnel-shaped flowers (10-20mm), each flower having a long stigma and 5 shorter stamens. The inflorescences, which are drooping spikes, are in whorls in the axis of larger, distinctive maroon bracts and are borne on woody, red stems, blooming from July to September. The leaves are large, opposite, lanceolate and red-stemmed. It is an introduced shrub, scattered in the East and S East mainly. This plant belongs to the Caprifoliaceae or Honeysuckle family.  

I first saw this shrub in Kilmeaden, Co Waterford in 2010 and photographed it in 2013 in Gibletstown, Co Wexford. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Honeysuckle, Himalayan
Honeysuckle, Himalayan

Himalayan Honeysuckle is also known as Pheasant-berry. In autumn it bears berries which are red at first, becoming black and subsequently eaten by birds. It was originally introduced, in the Victorian era, from China and Tibet as a shrub and planted as cover for pheasants.