Pheasant Berry is a wonderfully exotic-looking yet hardy Himalayan plant cherished by birds and gardeners alike. Known also as the Himalayan Honeysuckle, Leycesteria formosa is deciduous in winter but once spring comes around, it rapidly leaves out and becomes a handsome shrub with pointed ovate foliage and stiffly erect, bamboo-like hollow stems. This Gold Leaf variety is less vigorous than the species but has foliage that changes color, young ones being reddish and they age to yellowish-green. From early summer through fall, it holds many pendant spikes of scented white flowers that are beautifully contrasted by beet-red bracts, and even more stunning when you view the plant as whole because of its golden backdrop. Then, it draws in the hummingbirds and bees who do the pollination. The purplish-red berries that follow next attract all sort of small animals and birds. Undemanding in most fertile soils, it is tolerant of urban pollution, maritime conditions and windswept locations. Truly a plant-and-forget-but-easy-to-enjoy perennial! Hardy from zone 7 upwards. 6 feet tall and wide (can be kept smaller by heavy pruning). Full sun to part shade. Rich, well-drained soil. Regular water. Usually available only in plant forms. Hard-to-find fresh seeds, harvested 11/2014.
Our website for actively-growing plants and cuttings (eclecticplants.ecrater.com) is now re-opened starting 6/2/2014.