VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

Plant Pick: Himalayan honeysuckle

Latin name:  Leycesteria formosa

by Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association

Leycesteria Formosa is an upright shrub with dense vase-like growth.

The ovate leaves are bright green, often seven inches long with notched margins. The stalks are tubular and hollow. 

In mid-summer, the flowers cover the bush. The flowers are pendant spikes about four inches long consisting of small, white fuchsia-like bells below a cascade of deep purple-red bracts.  These are followed in the early autumn by clusters of spherical red berries.

This unusual shrub can be seen at Milner Gardens opposite the Gardener’s Cottage, beside the Croquet Lawn. 


Photos courtesy of:  Kay Howard.




An upright vase shaped shrub.

Foliage type:

Leaves are opposite, ovate in shape with toothed margins.

Seven inches in length.


Six feet by six feet.

Hardiness Zone:

Zone 8.. 


May need shelter from winter winds.

Flower colour:

White with purple-red bracts.

Leaf colour:

Bright green.

Flower time:

Mid-summer to autumn.

Preferred soil

and Watering:

Can be grown in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade.


Hummingbirds love the red flowers.