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Himalayan honeysuckle is a shrub that grows up to 2m tall (it is not a vine, like Japanese honeysuckle). It has straight, hollow stems and heart-shaped leaves. From December to May, drooping spikes of white and reddish-purple flowers grow from the tips of the branches; these are followed by juicy, dark brownish-purple or red berries.
Himalayan honeysuckle is a plant of coastal and lowland habitats, favouring damp conditions such as beside streams and in riverbeds. It is also found within native and plantation forests and shrublands, where it colonises clearings and canopy gaps.
Himalayan honeysuckle grows rapidly to produce dense thickets that replace and exclude other species. It prefers sunny sites but can tolerate shade, frost, physical damage, damp, and most soils. However, it is not long-lived. After flowering, Himalayan honeysuckle produces numerous berries that contain high numbers of seeds.