Leycesteria, Elisha's Tears, Himalayan Honeysuckle, Pheasant Berry 'Golden Lanterns'

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)
Cultivar: Golden Lanterns
Additional cultivar information:(aka Notbruce, Golden Lanterns)
Hybridized by Notcutts
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood heel cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

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

By simple layering

By stooling or mound layering

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Cawston, British Columbia

San Anselmo, California

Averill Park, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Albany, Oregon

Brookings, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon

Harbor, Oregon

Hubbard, Oregon

Millersburg, Oregon

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania(2 reports)

Lexington, Virginia

Seattle, Washington

Vader, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 12, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I planted one on the edge of my vegetable garden in part shade. It performed well its first season, but then over the next two years it dwindled, despite good rich well-drained soil and regular irrigation. This is said to grow like a perennial where winters cut down the top growth, but my plant never showed the necessary vigor. It survived only two Boston winters, Z6a.

Dirr says the species is only hardy to Z7.


On Sep 21, 2012, mgarr from Hanover Twp., PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This year it became so dry I had to take a hose to my garden to save some plants. This shrub began to wilt and then the foliage turned brown. Just when I gave up on the plant and was going to prune it back new growth began and now in mid September it is blooming and looking wonderful.


On Jul 29, 2012, Phillmygarden from Wexford,
Ireland wrote:

This plant just 'appeared' in my garden 2yrs ago, it's 6ft tall now and seeding itself around the garden in several places. Even though it's beautiful.........my garden is too small to accomodate any more. So be careful, as it can be very invasive.


On Aug 12, 2007, rcn48 from Lexington, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

We've grown this plant for several years now and have found when planted in full sun or brighter light the foliage continues to produce red fresh growth all through the summer. Tolerates shade conditions well, but will be more of a chartreuse color - still lovely, but so much nicer with more sun.


On Jun 25, 2006, Iluvmygarden from Hope, BC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Have experience with this plant at work at a show garden, but my 2 are new to my yard, first season. I have learned they don't enjoy being planted in the fall, I overwintered mine in pots and waited for spring. Will tolerate hard pruning, but the stalks are sort of bamboo like, hard, woody, and hollow (if I remeber correctly), so it remains fairly obvious where you have cut. Best if given enough space to let it grow to it's full spread. Beautiful plant, the colors are gorgeous!


On Oct 11, 2005, ctsgardening from machynlleth,
United Kingdom wrote:

Hi, I Live in The Snowdonia National Park in Wales In The UK. This plant grows very well in my garden. It does not care what soil or light it has it flowers seeds and there are plenty of young plants growing around the garden. The plant was in the garden when we bought the house 3 years ago. We love this plant and have only discovered its name today.


On Aug 14, 2005, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I absolutely love this plant. It's so lovely to my eyes. I have a saying when I see a pretty flower. I say, "That's some pretty stuff" LOL. Well I was outside today just looking at my Himalayan Honeysuckle and even though I see it everday...I said, "That's some pretty stuff!!" LOL
What a Lovely Bush


On Oct 31, 2003, Drphil wrote:

I have two specimins in the garden (Luton, UK) one by a pond and another which masks an usightly shed. They were bought in 3 litre pots and have grown to their full height in 2 seasons. The one situated by the pond makes a great backdrop for the water and the berrys look spectacular in the autumn. Just remember to give it enough space!