Q What is this strange-looking purple plant?
Margaret Michael, Torfaen
A MATT SAYS This is the deciduous shrub Himalayan honeysuckle ( Leycesteria formosa). It is a native of western China and eastern Tibet, and thrives in rich soil and sunshine. Its hanging clusters of white flowers have purple bracts and are followed by dark-purple fruits (as above). Birds, especially pheasants, are very fond of these berries, hence its alternative name of pheasant berry.
Birds are attracted to the fruits of the pheasant berry