I Love Callicarpa Species and Hybrids, aka Beauty Berry

Oct 7, 2022 | Love This!

Name: Callicarpa species and hybrids, aka Beauty BerryType of Plant: A shrub that has soft foliage all year but struts its stuff in the fall. There are several species and cultivars, from the native Callicarpa americana to the Callicarpa japonica and others. Most hardy in zones 6 – 10.

Why I Love This Plant: Whether it’s the Japanese or American beautyberry, or another hybrid or cultivar, these are stunning shrubs for fall color. Bright purple or white berries line their stems with brilliant color in the fall. These are visible when the foliage is still on the plant early in the season, and even more striking when the leaves turn yellow or fall off in late October.

A Word to the Wise: Plant beautyberry in well-drained soil and full or part sun.

Fun fact: American beautyberry has been used as a traditional mosquito repellent due to these four chemicals: borneol, callicarpenal, intermedeol, and spathulenol. The use of callicarpenal has been patented by the USDA Agricultural Research Service as a mosquito repellent

As the temperatures cool, the foliage on beautyberry turns more yellow which perfectly showcases the purple berries!

Some species and varieties are larger growing shrubs, to about 6 feet tall and wide. Others stay a bit shorter.

Pearl Glam is a cultivar that has purple-tinged leaves and light purple berries. The flowers are a light pink, and these are pleasing even if they are smaller.

Don’t shear beautyberry – let them grow in the loose, fountain-shaped plants that are so appealing.


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