Pheasant Berry LEYCESTERIA FORMOSA

Description & features

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Product description

LEYCESTERIA FORMOSA- Pheasant Berry          

Characteristics

A deciduous shrub with hollow stems, simple leaves and terminal and axillary racemes of tubular flowers, followed by fleshy berries.  Can get to 1½m (5ft) tall, generally with multiple stems.  Flower spikes produced between June and September arranged in tiers with claret coloured bracts.  The berry is like a small gooseberry, reddish purple and ripen in October.  The berries are a favourite of birds.

Where to grow

Easy to grow in almost any garden soil likes bright sun and partial shade.  Has a tendency to self-seed and spread in that way

Did you know?

Native of the Himalayas and western China, introduced in 1824, it grows in shady forests there, hence another common name of Himalayan Honeysuckle.

 

Features

Mature height
Very Small up to 5 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Shrub Multi-Stem
Growth rate
Medium
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Semi-Evergreen
Season of interest
Autumn
Summer
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Dense
Late to drop leaves
Flower colour
Red
Flowering month
June
July
August
September
Thorny?
No
Berries / fruit colour
Purple
Red
Stem/bark
Green
Peeling bark?
No
Native / Naturalised
Naturalised
Uses
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Encourages wildlife
Bird Food
Suitable for Containers
Suitable for Patio

Features

Mature height
Very Small up to 5 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Shrub Multi-Stem
Growth rate
Medium
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Semi-Evergreen
Season of interest
Autumn
Summer
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Dense
Late to drop leaves
Flower colour
Red
Flowering month
June
July
August
September
Thorny?
No
Berries / fruit colour
Purple
Red
Stem/bark
Green
Peeling bark?
No
Native / Naturalised
Naturalised
Uses
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Encourages wildlife
Bird Food
Suitable for Containers
Suitable for Patio

Aftercare

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


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