Himalayan Honeysuckle, Elisha's Tears

Leycesteria formosa

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Leycesteria (ley-ses-TER-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: formosa (for-MOH-suh) (Info)
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Maroon (Purple-Brown)

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Alameda, California

Arroyo Grande, California

Eureka, California

San Francisco, California

Mcdonough, Georgia

Lincoln City, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Norfolk, Virginia

Bryn Mawr-skyway, Washington

Cathan, Washington

Gold Bar, Washington

Lake Stevens, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Woodinville, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 5, 2014, sheilaliehs from Eureka, CA wrote:

Surprise bonus when rejuvenating old Victorian and its surrounding garden. South facing next to house. Long bloom period. Rather drought tolerant (very little water needed even in drought period). 8ft quick growth. After 5 years of us noticing it, it has not spread. Is susceptible to some rust fungi. Soil is very poor, sand base (Eureka, Humboldt Co, CA, USA)


On Aug 21, 2011, Beachlady868 from Lincoln City, OR wrote:

The Connie Hansen Foundation Garden in Lincoln City, Oregon, has a wonderful specimen of Leycesteria. It is on a south facing side of a shed, next to an arbor with roses. The Garden is propagating and has 2 remaining plants for sale. It is blooming profusely now (August 21), is a definite plus to the garden, and seems not to be an invasive problem. Soil is acidic in nature. This area receives approximately 70 inches of rain from October to May.


On Apr 1, 2010, webwise from Scarborough
United Kingdom wrote:

Lovely 'backdrop' plant. I've found it impossible to kill once established but not invasive in the UK (USDA zone 8b).


On Jul 24, 2004, grdncntraddict from Vancouver
Canada wrote:

I live in the greater Vancouver area, planted this last year and this summer having a lovely large plant, but still within the same footprint. I almost forgot what it was... so thanks for helping me identify it. Not alot of flower for the size of the plant but it makes a nice background for the rest of the garden. Also was hoping for some scent since it's a Honeysuckle, but appears to be none.


On Jul 21, 2004, dippydawg from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I have this planted near my pond and it hasn't spread or reseeded beyond it's original base. The plant has become quite bushy but the "footprint" hasn't changed. Thankfully it's in San Francisco not Austrailia!


On Jun 23, 2003, TropicWaterway wrote:

This is a report from a National Park Ranger in Victoria Australia. I can authenticate this report.

"Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa) is a major environmental weed in a significant proportion of the foothill forest of Mt Buffalo National Park - Victoria. Following the January 2003 bushfires this species is showing a vigorous response to fire in ceratain areas.

Although the majority of existing infestations were burnt and killed (or so it seems at this stage), germination of seed, especially in drainage lines where there is permanent water, is nothing less than scary. With germinating seed forming a blanket in particular spots.

At this stage there has been no evidence of germination of the seedbank on the steeper, drier slopes away f... read more


On Mar 26, 2003, RMarsden wrote:

I have a Himalayan honesuckle in the middle of my front garden and it hasn't shown any invasive tendencies, perhaps the English climate doesn't suit it as well. Mine produces an abundance of flowers which are visited by bees. In late summer, purple brown berries are produced. These berries are eaten by Blackbirds during the winter (apparently it's grown in some areas as ground cover for Pheasants). If cut down by frost or pruned hard in early spring, it will throw up a mass of sea green stems.


On Mar 21, 2003, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

In Australia this is a nuisance weed in wet forests and along creeks. It is also known as Elisha's Tears.