li-ses-TE-ri-a, lest-E-ree-a for-MO-sa
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Deciduous shrub or subshrub, fast growing, basal branching, multistemmed (purplish), upright habit, 4-6 ft (1.2-1.8 m) tall. Leaves simple, opposite, ovate, 8-20 cm long, 4-10 cm wide, acuminate tip, base cordate, margin entire or serrate, green above, paler and pubescent below. Flowers in 3-10 cm long pendulous clusters, corolla reddish-white to violet, surrounded by purple bracts. Fruit is bead-like, glossy green, becoming maroon then purple-black, a single cluster may contain fruit showing the above color range.
- Sun or light shade. Needs regular watering. Rejuvenate by pruning to the ground.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 7 Native to western China and eastern Tibet.
- Caution: some concern that Leycesteria formosa may become a noxious weed or invasive plant. It is on the national list of 52 invasive plants in Australia. This list was developed by weeds specialists from throughout Australia with consultation with nursery and garden industry associations. It is listed in the Common Weeds of New Zealand.
- formosa: of the island of Formosa (Taiwan)