American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) in the Beautyberries Database

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
Fall
Late fall or early winter
Winter
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Summer
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Butterflies
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
Division
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
The fruit makes lovely jelly.

American Beautyberry, Callicarpa americanaAmerican Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana
By frostweed on October 30, 2013

American Beautyberry decorates the fall landscape with lovely cascading color while providing lots of food for birds and small mammals.

(Full article25 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: Savannah, Georgia (my garden)Date: 2018 Sept 26The fruit makes lovely jelly.
By greene
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Location: Jacksonville, TXDate: 2012-09-03
By dave
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Location: Savannah, Georgia (my garden)Date: 2018 Sept 26Cleaning berries to make jelly.
By greene
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Location: Jacksonville, TXDate: 2012-09-03
By dave
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Location: Savannah, Georgia Date: 2018 Oct 1Removed seeds before cooking the fruit for jelly. I'm not gonna c
By greene
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Location: Our Home, DeLand, FLDate: 2006-09-21
By rocklady
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Location: Beautiful Tennessee / Lake McKamy, Benton Tn.Date: Oct. 19,2014 a beauty
By chickhill
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Location: Jacksonville, TXDate: 2012-09-03
By dave
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Location: Jacksonville, TXDate: 2012-09-03
By dave
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Location: Beautiful Tennessee, my gardenDate: 2017-12-11
By chickhill
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Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9bDate: 2016-09-09This is a plant in my garden, brought to me from the birds.
By sunkissed
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Image
By greene
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Location: My yard in Middle TennesseeDate: 2014-09-08
By SongofJoy
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Location: Gause, TXDate: Sept. 12, 2019Wild growing bush in rural setting.  Mostly shade.  Current droug
By Peggy8b
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Location: Jacksonville, TXDate: 2012-09-03
By dave
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Location: Fountain, FloridaDate: 2014-06-19
By gingin
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Date: 2007-12-01Credit Alexey Sergeev
By admin
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Location: Fountain, FloridaDate: October, 2015
By gingin
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Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9bDate: 2014-12-27Volunteer plant in my garden, comes back each year.
By sunkissed
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Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9bDate: 2014-10-18Plant growing wild with Spanish needles FL
By sunkissed
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Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9bDate: 2016-07-11Plant growing wild FL
By sunkissed
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Location: Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, FLDate: 2018-03-27leaves and two fruit clusters
By ILPARW
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Location: Austin ,TXDate: 2013-09-26
By Bubbles
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Location: The ParkDate: 2013-0507
By pirl
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Location: Belmont garden extension.Date: 2012-1018
By pirl
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Location: The ParkDate: 2013-12-03
By pirl
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Location: The ParkDate: 2013-1203
By pirl
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Location: My yard in Middle TennesseeDate: 2014-09-08
By SongofJoy
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Location: MOBOT -   St LouisDate: 2009-09-29
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 9
By jmorth
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Location: MOBOT -   St LouisDate: 9-29-09
By jmorth
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Date: 2007-12-01Credit Alexey Sergeev
By admin
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Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon Date: 2015-10-21
By Patty
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Location: Woodbridge , VaDate: 2017-10-04
By krobra
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Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9bDate: 2018-05-12Spring blooms before the berries.
By sunkissed
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Location: Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, FLDate: 2018-03-27the large leaves
By ILPARW
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Location: Temple, TexasDate: 2019-09-03Young 2 y.o. plants producing large berry clusters now.
By Peggy8b
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Location: Gause, TexasDate: 2019-08-26Wild groing along access lane to rural property Gause, TX
By Peggy8b
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Location: Gause, TexasDate: 2019-09-11Plant growing wild by storage building on our rural property.  Mo
By Peggy8b
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Location: Northwest N.J.Date: 2011-10-10
By NJBob
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Location: Fountain, FloridaDate: 2011-10-13This is a young plant...they can get much larger.
By gingin
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Location: Fountain, FloridaDate: 2011-10-13
By gingin
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Location: Fountain, FloridaDate: 2012-05-25shows blooms plus buds at various stages of maturity
By gingin
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Location: Fountain, FloridaDate: 2012-05-25
By gingin
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Location: Mercer Botanical Garden  Houston, TxDate: 2014-05-19
By jmorth
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Location: Belmont garden, copper box.Date: 2011-0623New growth on young plants taken from cuttings.
By pirl
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Location: Belmont garden, copper box.Date: 2011-0623
By pirl
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Date: 2006-10-16Credit Alexey Sergeev
By admin
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Location: San Antonio TXDate: 2017-10-22Top are the berries (bright purple on the plant); bottom are clea
By ricelg
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Location: Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, FLDate: 2018-03-27fruit clusters
By ILPARW
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Location: Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, FLDate: 2018-03-27wild shrub along path
By ILPARW
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This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Sep 15, 2011 2:49 PM

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.

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Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Sep 17, 2011 8:14 PM

American beautyberry generally grows 3-5 ' tall and is about as wide as it is tall. It can reach a height of 9' if the soil and moisture are optimum. It has long, loose, gracefully arching branches and can be considered sprawling by some. It bears the most striking glossy fuchsia/purple fruit in clusters that hug the branches at leaf axils. Fruit is borne in the fall and winter and 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 and moisture conditions. American beautyberry is extremely drought tolerant, and during periods of prolonged drought it may temporarily lose its leaves as well as developing fruit in order to survive and 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, and Mexico.
The blooms are white to pink, appearing in may, June & July.
The berries are used to make jellies and the roots are used for herbal tea. The leaves and 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.

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Posted by patrob (Goldthwaite, TX - Zone 8a) on Oct 1, 2012 12:14 PM

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.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 5, 2019 4:13 PM

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.

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ricelg On December 24, 2017 Seeds sown
Winter sowed outdoors in plastic jug
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).
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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
Plant ID and Disease Diagnosis please by gross4160 Jun 8, 2020 9:16 PM 2
Bright purple berries with green seeds! by natalieog Jan 29, 2020 10:27 AM 8
Banner for November 24, 2019 by krobra by krobra Nov 24, 2019 7:34 AM 12
What is this bush with purple berries found in a garden in Switzerland? by lophophora Feb 11, 2019 4:15 PM 4
Get Ready for Spring Plant Sales by tx_flower_child Jul 10, 2019 8:11 AM 113
Unidentified Plant by Mmcnam Aug 10, 2018 10:00 AM 2
American Beauty plant by msp12845 Nov 27, 2017 6:39 PM 3
Please help id this bush by idreos Aug 29, 2017 11:01 AM 3
Are these Beautybush? by jlgarden Aug 15, 2017 4:56 PM 6
Wanted: Callicarpa americana (American Beauty Bush seeds) by TsFlowers Dec 12, 2016 7:31 PM 13

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