Elisha's Tears

What is Elisha's tears?

(Leycesteria formosa)

Elisha's tears flower cluster, photo: T. RudmanGeneric Weed Distribution Map
  • Elisha's tears is an environmental weed of wet forests, woodlands and stream-sides
  • Elisha's tears is a declared weed under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of Elisha's tears is prohibited in Tasmania.

How to identify Elisha's tears

  • Elisha's tears (sometimes called Himalayan honeysuckle) is a deciduous, long-lived shrub growing to a height of 3 to 4 metres. Arising from a root crown just below the soil surface, the bamboo-like (hollow) stems are 2 to 4 cm in diameter and may be upright or horizontal.
  • Leaves are dark green on the upper surface, paler green and lightly hairy underneath with prominent veins.
  • Flowers occur in clusters of six in pendulous hanging chains. Each cream-purple, funnel-shaped flower is 1.5 cm long and tubular, and enclosed by leaf-like purple-green bracts, which are easily mistaken for the flower itself. Flowering usually occurs from late spring to summer.
  • The fruit is an oval-shaped berry, 6 to 10 mm long, and reddish purple to black.

Elisha's tears
Image top: Elisha's tears flower cluster, photo: T. Rudman.
Image above: Elisha's tears in flower.

Elisha's tears in Tasmania

  • Elisha's tears occurs in wetter forests and woodlands in Tasmania's north-east, north-west, west and south (see map).
  • Elisha's tears invades cool moist forests, woodlands and riparian (stream-side) areas. Elisha's tears can invade both disturbed and undisturbed bush, forming dense thickets that can smother other vegetation and prevent regeneration, displacing both native plants and animals.

What is the legal status of Elisha's tears in your area?

Detailed management and control guidelines for Elisha's tears can be found in the Elisha's Tears Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Elisha's Tears Control. For further information see DPIPWE's Useful Resources: Weeds.

See also
Elisha's Tears Control Guide
Herbicides for Elisha's Tears Control
Statutory Management Plan for Elisha's Tears
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links:
Pest Genie

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