Taxonomy

Leycesteria formosa | Himalayan Honeysuckle

Pre 2017

2017 - 2020

Status

Conservation status

Not Assessed

First reported in the wild

1955

Invasiveness

Invasive species - risk of Medium Impact

Irish status

Established

Introduction pathways - 1

Escape from Confinement

Introduction pathways subclass - 1

Ornamental purpose

Invasive score

14

NAPRA Ireland risk assessed

No

Species Biology

Identification

A deciduous shrub, up to 2m tall; leaves oval 5-18cm long; tall green bamboo like stems; purple berries, 5-12mm (Booy et al., 2015)

Ecology

No documented impacts recorded for Leycestria formosa, though appears to be expanding its range in Britain (Preston et al., 2004) and Ireland (Reynolds, 2002). Forms dense thickets that can exclude native vegetation (Booy et al., 2015).

Habitat

Woodland, forest and other wooded land; Inland unvegetated or sparsely vegetated habitats; Constructed, industrial or other artificial habitats; Regularly or recently cultivated agricultural, horticultural or domestic habitat

Reproduction

Fruits are dispersed widely by birds (Heleno, 2011) and small mammals (Williams et al., 2000).

Pathway and vector description

Used as a hedging plant and as cover for pheasants (Preston et al., 2004; Reynolds, 2002), still widely sold as an ornamental so difficult to ascertain its expansion of range due to repeated introductions or natural spread. Fruits are dispersed by birds, particularly robins and chaffinches (Heleno et al., 2011).

Mechanism of impact

Competition

Broad environment

Terrestrial

Habitat description

Typically found in hedgerows and on waste ground, occasionally found in woodland (Preston et al., 2004; Reynolds, 2002).

Species group

Plant

Native region

Temperate Asia

Distribution

World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Established - Widespread, more common in the south east. Distribution is likely an artefact of recording effort.

Native distribution

Native to the Himalayas (Preston et al., 2004).

Temporal change

Date of first record category

1951-1960

Fifty year date category

1901-1950

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2021

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How can you help

Report any sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

References

Publications

Booy, O., Wade, M. & Roy, H. (2015) A Field Guide to Invasive Plants & Animals in Britain. Bloomsbury.

Heleno, R. H., Ross, G., Everard, A. M. Y., Memmott, J., & Ramos, J. A. (2011). The role of avian ‘seed predators’ as seed dispersers. Ibis, 153(1), 199-203.

Reynolds, S.C.P. (2002) A catalogue of alien plants in Ireland. National Botanic Gardens. Glasnevin, Dublin.

Preston, C.D., Pearman, D. A. & Dines, T. D. (2002). New atlas of the British and Irish flora. An atlas of the vascular plants of Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, Oxford University Press.

Williams, P. A., Karl, B. J., Bannister, P., & Lee, W. G. (2000). Small mammals as potential seed dispersers in New Zealand. Australian Ecology, 25(5), 523-532.