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Leycesteria formosa

Leycesteria formosa
Himalayan honeysuckle

Common name Himalayan honeysuckle
Family caprifoliaceae
Life cycle shrub (Z7-10)
Flowers pink/white (late summer - fall)
Light sun
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil

Deciduous shrub whose tubular flowers are framed by red bracts. They are replaced by edible brown berries. Supposedly, they are not quite hardy in our zone 6 garden in Pennsylvania, but I tried them nonetheless, and was pleased to see that the majority of my 2014 seedlings made it through winter (which was not particularly mild, with some sub-zero temperatures). The picture at right shows a seedling: the purplish coloration to the leaves developed after moving the plants out from the basement into the open garden.
Spring regrowth on the saplings came from low on the stems, higher up was dead. So it looks like it will grow as a die-back shrub here. I wasn't sure if it would bloom on new wood, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the first flower in mid-August.

Leycesteria formosa
Second-year seed-grown plant of 'Golden Lanterns' in our Houston garden

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: foundation border

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from HPS/MAG '13/'14 exchange. Baggy 70F (68%G, 16-18d). Also baggy 35F (4w) - 70F (82%G, 9-15d)
  2. Same seed as above, cold-stored. Baggy 35F (3w) - 70F (90%G, 14-17d)
  3. Same seed as above. Baggy 35F (3w) - 70F (no G, 14d).
    Also seed for 'Golden Lanterns' from NARGS '17/'18 exchange. Baggy 70F (90%G, 9-12d)
  4. Seed for 'Golden Lanterns' as above. Baggy 70F (72%G, 13d)

Appears to germinate best with a short cold stage.

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