Beautiful Berries

Many times plants are purchased because of their pretty or colorful blooms. Then a week later it is just another plant, lost in the sea of green. That is not the case with the native deciduous shrub Callicarpa americana aka Beautyberry.

In May and June the Beautyberry blooms, small sometimes inconspicuous, pink to lavender flowers (see above).

Then by August the flowers are replaced by stems of purplish drupes that last through winter depending on how hungry the fruit eating birds such as Cardinals, Mockingbirds, Catbirds and Thrashers are.

Beautyberries can get pretty big in one growing season (4-8′), then they usually freeze back each winter. They can be severely pruned to maintain a more compact shape.

Great native plant book and sources:

Gardening for Birds


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