What should not be allowed are the counties of oilseed. March 2013 August 2014 that's if I can get them before the grandchildren pop them. Whilst I agree that invasive plant species should be controlled, having lost 98% of our native wildflower meadows and thousands of miles of hedgerow, there isn't a great deal of forage available for pollinating insects - a major factor in their decline. Eco systems evolved over hundreds of thousands of years with interdependent vegetation, insects and birds suited to the places in which they evolved. Himalayan Honeysuckle: Leycesteria formosa. ... this shrub is also called Chocolate berry, this is an amazing edible ornamental. I have literally seen forests of the stuff stretching as far as the eye can see with nothing else surviving underneath. The flower, seed, berries, and leaves are used for medicine. Many thanks. I have now messaged a few beekeeper forums asking this same question. In the UK armies of volunteers spend thousands of hours destroying this weed. My neighbour gave me a seed packet labelled Himalayan Balsam. However there are lots of other plants the bees would love equally. What does it look like? However, the nectar from the flowers of a honeysuckle plant can be ingested without harm. This plant is listed in the RHS Plant Finder book. It probably is. Thanks for the info. It took me four years to eradicate after my neighbor strewed it along our verge because she liked the flowers. 6. The Himalayan honeysuckle is native to the Himalayas and China. At present our information about this plant is limited to a list of the nurseries that supply it. in the spring the HB's show themselves with a very characteristic pair of large seed leaves. May 2012 I live in one of France's neighbour countries, Belgium, and it grows here abundantly. April 2013 Whether or not winter stem freezing occurs, plant appearance can often be greatly improved by a late winter pruning of stems to as far back as 6-12” from the ground without fear of flower loss because flowers appear on new growth. Himalayan honeysuckle keeps on making new flowers as the plant continues growing throughout the season. Winter hardy to USDA Zone 7 where it is easily grown in average, moist but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Absolutely share your concerns re oilseed rape and bees. June 2014 The fact of the matter is that it's very well adapted to our climate, it's edible and it grows only where the ecosystem has been disturbed by human influence. I've seen and admired whole swathes of Himalyan balsam along river banks, not once is there a scorched earth effect eating it's way out year after year into the surrounding fields denying the wildlife the vegetation and the farmers their crops. June 2013 Some say that the fully ripe fruit is sweet, while others say it is very bitter. Himalayan Honeysuckle: Leycesteria formosa. Sadly Roger died last year so I can't ask him. If you are a beekeeper you would know that if your bees gather the water coloured and insipid tasting nectar from this plant you have to get it out of the combs within ten days flat. But please check first if it isn't protected in your area. Lin, you're probably referring to touch-me-not balsam, Impatiens noli-tangere. Oregon Grape. Minimum temperature:-20 degrees Celsius. That plant dies. Himalayan Honeysuckle is a woody shrub, often included in the perennial border. Description: This species from the Himalaya is winter hardy and grows up to 2 meters high. It is native to forested areas of the Himalayas and southwestern China. Genus name honors William Leycester, Chief Justice of Bengal c.1820. If ingested in large quantities, respiratory failure, convulsions and coma may occur. Birds such as blackbirds, hummingbirds, and pheasants seem to like the dark purple berries. Yes here in 64 I am currently pulling it up around the cow feeder for the 2nd year. I keep about 5-6 in the garden, pinch them out so they don't get tall enough to seed over the fence & also produce more side shoots & more flowers. Why are there no more details? Plus the berries are edible and sweet! What a fantastic pioneer plant we have on our hands. Soil erosion is not just a problem for the local wildlife. Himalayan honeysuckle / Pheasant berry. January 2015 Can this be the same invasive weed? grown for profit and bio-fuel. Balsam has barely any root system. Biological warfare is on the way with CABI investigating a species specific rust. Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle) Where is it originally from? After flowering, cute purple berries appear which are said to taste of caramel and be highly attractive to birds like pheasants. They are certainly invasive around water courses. Hollow, bamboo-like, upright, powder-gray stems are clad with opposite, undivided, long-pointed, cordate-based, ovate dark green leaves (to 2-7” long). Nothing is struggling and I never water them. And if you ran into the blooming plant, by all means eat the flowers. January 2014 any others (hundreds) just get pinched off or if I'm feeling energetic just pulled and tossed on the ground to wither and help compost. even with my best ones having stems that are approximately six inches diameter the roots only extend approx twelve inches diameter and are very shallow. just when a useful to bees and humans plant comes along nature decides that it's ideal for some bug that the blue tits would like. Peter aka anemoneprojectors - camera busted. An interesting plant, with unique tasting edible berries. The most commonly planted is Lonicera caerulea. Himalayan honeysuckle is a relatively unknown shrub, but its graceful green stems, pretty white flowers and purplish-brown fruits make it a real winner. Himalayan Balsam is a saving grace for honey bees and other insects in the North West. In the South it is a shrub and in the north it behaves like a perennial dieing back to the ground each winter. It will prevent the plant from going into seed and propagating even more. Hardiness Zone: 6-9 We just got back from Germany where it grows as well. It is best used as you would a perennial or annual, mixed into a colorful border or used as a patio container plant. The plant is extremely fast growing & once it gains a foothold it wipes out all of the other species attempting to grow there & the area becomes a complete balsam monoculture. It is actually illegal to spread this plant in the UK. Description of the plant: Propagating honeysuckle can be done in several ways. Leycesteria formosa. I dont spend thousands a year wailing and nashings teeth worrying about what in some peoples eyes are invasive species, Britains full of them, I had a Himalayan Honeysuckle appear 4 yrs ago, its now 12 feet tall and full of beautiful racemes of flowers and berries, The postman hates it but the blackbirds love the berries, the postman lost. If the temperature dips below 12°F (-10°C), stems are likely to be killed to the ground. You can work all day & only find perfect leaves & stems with nary an insect to be seen. February 2014 However, the nectar from the flowers of a honeysuckle plant can be ingested without harm. Appreciates part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. August 2012 The blooms are followed by tiny purple berries that are edible and said to taste like toffee or caramel. The hollow stems can be used to make whistles and flutes. June 2012 The plant is a fast grower and will quickly spring … Flowers are followed by small fleshy edible purple berries which purportedly taste like toffee or caramel. Naturally humans on the whole don't think that far ahead though. I have grown Himalayan Balsam since 1999 when I brought seeds back from a house exchange on Vancouver Island. I live in central France. Hope this helps! January 2013 But also concerned about people planting balsam. Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium, formerly Mahonia aquifolium) is an evergreen shrub with an upright habit that provides four seasons of color. Small, mildly-scented, white honeysuckle flowers, subtended by showy deep red bracts, bloom throughout summer (June – September) in terminal and axillary pendulous racemes. The Pheasant Berry was brought over by the Victorians from the Himalayas or South West China and has toffee tasting berries when ripe but are dreadful and very bitter before then. Strangely I've just sent off for some quinoa seed and there are slight similarities. … I volunteer with the YWT and at this time of year our main job is trying to remove himalayan balsam. Treat with extreme caution, this is an invasive species. I have bought balsam at a local Amish market and it is leaves which they use for tea. Set this shrub up as a hedge when preparing a flowered hedge or simply in a shrub bed, small copse or as a standalone. Flowers are followed by ornamental, spherical berries that are almost black and glossy, non edible, though some say they taste sweet. In all the years I've grown them they have never spread to my neighbours gardens. The non-invasive honeysuckle is a desirable garden plant for pretty flowers. They say the orange flowered kind can and they are similar with juicy stems... Can the leaves be used to make tea? We took away the native food sources, now we’re taking away the non-natives. July 2012 my neighbours have had plants off me once I showed them that you can just mow or hand pick the ones out you dont need when they shoot up in the spring as they are in fact quite a delicate annual and do not make a 'scorched bare earth' of your garden as some who should know better try to tell you. This versatile shrub can be grown for its ornamental value in summer as well as for a tasty supply of blueberry-like fruits. These beautiful flowers are California natives and are also known as Gilia tricolor. Yes. Himalayas. Especially in winter - when as Derek mentions above, the balsams watery stem dies off & leaves bare earth. It's rather rare and protected where I live, but the Plants For A Future database mentions the leaves and seeds being edible: http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Impatiens+noli-tangere (you'll have to copy and paste the link in your browser). Wouldn't it be great to find out that a shrub in your garden had little sweet treats on offer. I usually allow just 3 plants to survive per year on my small plot so they grow as 'spectacular as nature internded'. Native Range: Himalayas, western China, eastern Tibet, Bloom Description: White with deep red bracts. The native insects do not yet have a taste for balsam & so the plant has few predators to keep it in check. Himalayan Honeysuckle: Leycesteria formosa. Hi Susan. Close all around them are Asian poppies (beautiful Gold) cornflowers Gallardia, Potentillas and clover. The Garden wouldn't be the Garden without our Members, Donors and Volunteers. Can this plant(Himalayan Balsam or pink jewelweed) be used to treat/heal poison ivy rash? Grown from seed, Semi-ripe cuttings with a heel, among other methods. December 2012 Origin: Himalaya. I have grown a plant called Leycesteria formosa, and this plant is edible (I eat it about 2 years and I'm stil alive and well) it has a special taste a bit like burnt sugar (dont know the name on english) fruits very well ,and in fact it is plenty on fruit now and into the database, they say they dont know this, i should say try it its very good but must be fully ripe (dark brown berry's). Could you tell me if there's a yellow variety also please? Summer salad would not be the same without balsam flowers and lemon mint leaves. And unlike some other honeysuckles you may know, this easy-care beauty won’t dominate your garden. The garden is made up of a mixture of more than 260 species and 18,000 native and exotic plants like the sacred bamboo and Himalayan honeysuckle. Ive got two stems of rasberries appear this year by the shed and so far have had 10 berries off them, thank you mother nature, but the wild patch of raspberries over in the small woodland area over the way has died off this year producing only half a pound of berries but last year we filled our freezer with them. Plant database entry for Pheasant Berry (Leycesteria formosa 'Gold Leaf') with 6 images and 23 data details. Urban Foraging November 2012 I have not tasted the berries but they are supposedly edible and have a bitter taste. Suzy Peters. This plant is from the same family and has a similar, yellow flower. Sort by Sort by Show ... Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycestria formosa) Also called chocolate berry, this rare and interesting multi stemmed, semi evergreen shrub grows to 6 feet tall. Want to find out how you can get to know her as a wild edible? In the spring it quickly grows back and blooms all summer long. V.demoralizing. It is a carefree blooming plant that is attractive to butterflies, bees and even hummingbirds. White honeysuckle flowers are held in drooping clusters of deep red bracts, later followed by showy purple-black edible berries, said to taste like toffee. You can pull out 5 six foot plants one handed. This lack of a root system is one of our main reasons for wanting to remove it. My flower border is full of flowers, roses included. December 2014 Himalayan honeysuckle Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. Specimen or in small groups for woodland gardens. Himalayan honeysuckle plants are native to the forest land of the Himalayas and southwestern China. As it is an annual and only roots a couple of inches deep it's hardly a plague that needs dealing with. I didn't know until last year that they are edible seeds and flowers so perhaps this year there will be four growing. which is great as far as I'm concerned because everything gets eaten by something! in fact the stems and leaves breakdown very rapidly and produce a great fibre for the soil. Of course bees absolutely love balsam & humans need bees. hmmm. Listed in the RHS Plant Finder. An amazing cut flower. All gardeners love nature - so please be conscientious in your plant choices. I chorttle watching the "eco" groups pulling it out, churning up all that soil into bare earth, totally unaware that they are creating the perfect environment for another "invasion" next year. Leycesteria formosa, commonly called Himalayan honeysuckle, is a multi-caned deciduous shrub in the honeysuckle family that typically grows to 3-6’ tall. Shrub stems will typically freeze to the ground in winter when temperatures dip below 15 degrees F, but new stems will likely rise up from a protected root system in spring and rapidly grow back to as much as 6’ tall by summer. September 2013 But I'm worried, There's some darned bug that is munching the heck out of it! That's the standard opinion on most things nowadays and just about everything from a football club losing a match to the price of carrots is put down to global warming. Edible honeysuckle (honeyberry) Botanical name: Lonicera. Recipes I dont spend thousands a year wailing and nashings teeth worrying about what in some peoples eyes are invasive species, Britains full of them, I had a Himalayan Honeysuckle appear 4 yrs ago, its now 12 feet tall and full of beautiful racemes of flowers and berries, The postman hates it but the blackbirds love the berries, the postman lost. Family. Himalayan Honeysuckle + Has drought tolerance: Intolerant + Has edible part: Fruit + Has edible use: Unknown use + Has environmental tolerance: High wind + Has fertility type: Insects + Has flowers of type: Hermaphrodite + Has growth rate: Moderate + Has hardiness zone: 7 + Has image: Leycesteria formosa.jpg + Has lifecycle type: Perennial + Has material part I think I'd best tread carefully, My little garden at the front, 12x5 has asian poppies, cornflowers Gallardia, two rose bushes, Gogi berry and grape (both over 6 foot) growing up the wall, Atlantic delphiniums that have just gone to seed but were 6 feet tall, a dianthus thats been there for two years that just 'appeared' and is approx a foot square, a few thistle family things that I haven't bothered to identify but tend to put a couple of the nice looking leaves in a salad, (and I aint dead yet) A 2x3 patch of polyanthus that looks great in early spring, a lot of that very small dark red/purple clover stuff that has a small yellow flower and is a pain to keep pulling out and right at this moment you cant see a spare bit of soil anywhere because,,,, the rest has been filled in with,,, yep, Himalayan Balsam. There are so many plants that people get 'a bee in their bonnet' about it's unreal, for example there's a tree that self seeded out the back (nope dont know what it is) it grows like a nutter every year and produces leaves that some little black caterpillar loves, everyone tells me to get rid of it and I refuse but cut it back to a bare trunk every year so it grows new branches and leaves for the caterpillars the next year.