General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 3 feet - 6 feet, to 10 feet
Plant Spread: 3 feet - 6 feet, to 10 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Other: leaves are a favorite of white tailed deer
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: if planting indoors, cold moist for 90 days
Sow in situ
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Cuttings: Root
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Monoecious
Awards and Recognitions: Other: 2008 Oklahoma Proven! plant selection
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Common names
  • American Beautyberry
  • Beautyberry
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Callicarpa americana
  • Synonym: Callicarpa americana var. lactea

Photo Gallery
Location: Jacksonville, TX
Date: 2012-09-03
Location: Jacksonville, TX
Date: 2012-09-03
Location: Jacksonville, TX
Date: 2012-09-03
Location: Jacksonville, TX
Date: 2012-09-03
Location: The Park
Date: 2013-0507
Location: Belmont garden extension.
Date: 2012-1018
Location: The Park
Date: 2013-12-03
Location: The Park
Date: 2013-1203
Location: Jacksonville, TX
Date: 2012-09-03
Location: Belmont garden, copper box.
Date: 2011-0623
New growth on young plants taken from cuttings.
Location: Belmont garden, copper box.
Date: 2011-0623
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by patrob (Goldthwaite, TX - Zone 8a) on Oct 1, 2012 12:14 PM concerning plant:
    My American beautyberry is growing in the front where white-tailed deer browse daily. Its leaves have never been eaten by the deer, even during extreme drought when the deer are desperate for green bites.
  • Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Sep 15, 2011 2:49 PM concerning plant:
    American Beautyberry is an attractive deciduous shrub that attains heights to 6'. Tiny pink flowers appear in spring and early summer, followed by tight clusters of deep purple berries in the fall that are a food source to birds and other wildlife. American Beautyberry prefers a shady location and is very drought tolerant.

    One of my neighbors considers this plant a weed and has removed it from her yard, but I love the plant in my backyard. I think the little flowers are quite striking but I really love the look of the berries when they turn the deep purple color in the fall.
  • Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Dec 8, 2011 7:31 PM concerning plant:
    American beautyberry generally grows 3-5 ' tall & is about as wide as it is tall. It can reach a height of 9' if the soil & moisture are optimum. It has long, loose, gracefully arching branches & can be considered sprawling by some. It bears the most glossy white fruit in clusters that hug the branches at leaf axils. Fruit is borne in the fall & winter & is a favorite of birds; the Northern Bobwhite in particular. White tailed deer are quite fond of munching on the leaves. The leaves begin dropping in the fall, making the berries even more showy. It generally grows as an understory plant. It is found in a vast range of soil types & moisture conditions. American beauty berry is extremely drought tolerant & during periods of prolonged drought it may temporarily lose it's leaves as well as developing fruit in order to survive & arise anew. It can be severely pruned just before new growth begins in spring to encourage a more compact habit.
    Native distribution: Va. to Ar., & south to Fl. & east Tx. it also grows in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Cuba & Mexico.
    The blooms are white to pink appearing in may, June & July.
    The berries are used to make jellies & the roots are used for herbal tea. The leaves & berries contain callicarpenal which has been reportedly proven effective in tests as a mosquito repellent. People have been known to rub the leaves or crushed berries on their skin to ward off the biting insects.
    This white variety makes a lovely addition to both the purple and the pink berried varieties.
    You can cut the stem with berries at their peak color & put them in a vase just as you would flowers. They will last 2-3 weeks and look just lovely!
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 5, 2019 4:13 PM concerning plant:
    The generic name of "Callicarpa" means "beautiful fruit" in Greek. I've only seen the American Beautyberry once, and that was in southern Florida as a wild plant in Fern Forest Park near Fort Lauderdale in late March 2018, and it still was holding its purple fruit in good condition down there. This species is native to the southeastern USA, parts of Mexico, and the Caribbean, as far north as southwest Maryland in moist soiled woods and thickets and rich bottomlands. I think it is cold hardy up to USDA Zone 6a, though it might become like a perennial that far north during colder winters. It may work like a perennial in Zone 5, as what happens to Butterflybush there. I've never seen any species of Beautyberry in the Chicago area of Zone 5a, though C. dichotoma is supposed to be hardy to Zone 5a. Some selections of three very similar species of east Asian Beautyberry shrubs are occasionally planted in southeast Pennsylvania from conventional nurseries. Native plant nurseries do grow the American species, including mail order ones. Redbud Native Plant Nursery offers this American Beautyberry in Media, PA that is Zone 6b. The leaves of the American species are larger and coarser than the Asian species, being 4 to 8 inches long, being very soft, hairy, and lighter green in color, plus they contain a natural mosquito repellent. The American species is a larger and looser growing shrub. Each node (bud or leaf axil) is surrounded by a big, dense mass of small lavender pink flowers in summer that become the purple fruit (drupes) that are about 1/3 inch in diameter, larger than the Asian species. The fruit is loved by many songbirds and quail. This shrub can easily be pruned down low in late fall to early spring to bloom & fruit on current year's growth. It is a great shrub for informal and naturalistic landscapes.
Plant Events from our members
MunchkinsMom On March 15, 2017 Plant emerged
Dogwood eBay plant Leafing Out, No signs of life or either Morris plant.
MunchkinsMom On March 15, 2017 Plant emerged
Dogwood eBay plant Leafing Out, No signs of life or either Morris plant.
MunchkinsMom On April 26, 2016 Transplanted
2 Plants (1 from Dogwood and 1 from Morris Nursery) North Fence Rock Bed and 1 plant from Morris Nursery in Shadier Part of Large Bed
MunchkinsMom On November 2, 2015 Obtained plant
1 Plant from dogwooderitternet eBay 18" tall w/berries $4.95, and 2 Plants from Morris Nursery 5" tall $4.50 each--All Plants Dormant in 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" pots, Overwintered in Garage
ricelg On December 24, 2017 Seeds sown
Winter sowed outdoors in plastic jug
MrsBinWY On June 18, 2020 Seeds germinated
All 20 up on 6-18-2020. I didn't get them potted up or planted out in 2020. Though I brought the container inside in by ~November 2020, they didn't emerge again (as of 3-13-2021). It looks like the first cold snap did them in. Very sad. Maybe I'll try again.
MrsBinWY On December 21, 2019 Seeds sown
5 berries = 20 seeds from heavenlyfarm's 2018G. Soaked overnight & WS in milk jug (put outside on 12-26-19).
KelliW On January 23, 2020 Seeds sown
wintersown outdoors in jug, zone 6b
taterpye On July 18, 2020 Bloomed
mckibbenmd On September 1, 2021 Obtained plant
WebTucker On September 17, 2021 Fruit Ripened
LyraLu On May 17, 2020 Obtained plant
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Great berry arrangement by eclayne Sep 3, 2012 1:15 PM 1
Vine with your beautyberry by wildflowers Oct 22, 2014 2:25 PM 0
Jelly from Callicarpa americana berries by valleylynn Jan 8, 2020 9:39 AM 7
Your American Beautyberry Photo by Peggy8b Aug 20, 2019 12:45 PM 0

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