Slender Honeysuckle
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Slender Honeysuckle
P Native Photo: Saroj Kasaju
Common name: Slender Honeysuckle, East-Himalayan Nutmeg
Botanical name: Leycesteria gracilis    Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle family)
Synonyms: Lonicera gracilis

Slender Honeysuckle is a shrub 1.5-3 m tall, with hollow branches. Leaf-stalks are 5-10 mm, leaf blade ovate-lanceshaped, 7-12 x 2.5-6.5 cm, below glaucous, above hairless, base rounded to somewhat heart-shaped, margin slightly involute, remotely toothed, tip tapering to with a tail. Inflorescence is a hanging stalked spike of paired flowers, in leaf-axils; pairs 2-6, with 3 bracts per flower; involucral bracts ovate-lanceshaped or lanceshaped, 1/3-1/2 as long as ovaries, glandular fringed with hairs. Ovary is 5-6 mm, with a short beak at tip. Sepals fused and shallowly cup-shaped in lower part; lobes linear-lanceshaped to lanceshaped, 1.5-2 mm, often glandular ciliolate. Flowers are white, funnel-shaped, 1-2 cm, hairless; petals ovate to round-ovate, 5-7 mm. Stamens are slightly shorter than flower. Berry is red, turning blue-purple, oblong or ellipsoid, 1-1.3 cm. Slender Honeysuckle is found in E. Himalayas, from E Nepal to Bhutan, NE India, N. Burma, W. China, at altitudes of 2000-3800 m. Flowering: October-November. Fruiting: April-May.

Identification credit: Saroj Kasaju, J.M. Garg Photographed in Lava, Kalimpong, West Bengal.

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