Pheasant berry (Leycesteria formosa) - fruit close up - October 2017
It is a vigorous deciduous shrub with erect sea-green stems bearing long-pointed, ovate leaves and pendulous racemes of white flowers with showy red-purple bracts, followed by deep purple berries. It is native to the Himalaya and southwestern China.It is considered a noxious invasive species in Australia, New Zealand, the neighbouring islands of Micronesia, and some other places. It has soft, hollow, upright green stems 1–2 m tall, which only last for 2–5 years before collapsing and being replaced by new stems from the roots. The leaves are opposite, dark green, 6–18 cm long and 4–9 cm broad, with an entire or wavy margin. Leycesteria formosa became a popular plant in Victorian shrubberies. Attempts have been made in recent years to re-popularise the species in Britain with new cultivated varieties appearing in garden centres. The fruit is often eaten by Pheasants, hence the name. Although some sources advise the fruit is not suitable for human consumption there are numerous reports of the fruit being used in cooking. A good example is of the fruit being used to make fig-style rolls: http://ift.tt/2icPW60 They can also be eaten raw: http://ift.tt/2gMpaRG As always - take care when eating any part of a plant and avoid any that are near busy roads or on pavements as it's likely they've been sprayed with weed killer. === Other common names: Himalayan honeysuckle flowering nutmeg granny's curls pheasant berry === Scientific classification e Kingdom: Plantae Clade: Angiosperms Clade: Eudicots Clade: Asterids Order: Dipsacales Family: Caprifoliaceae Genus: Leycesteria Species: L. formosa Binomial name Leycesteria formosa
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