American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) in the Beautyberries Database

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit:Shrub
Life cycle:Perennial
Sun Requirements:Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences:Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness:Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Plant Height:3 feet - 5 feet
Plant Spread:3 feet - 5 feet
Other: leaves are a favorite of white tailed deer
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time:Summer
Flower Color:Pink
Bloom Size:Under 1"
Flower Time:Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations:Xeriscapic
Uses:Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant:Bees
Propagation: Seeds:Stratify seeds: if planting indoors
Sow in situ
Propagation: Other methods:Cuttings: Tip
Cuttings: Root
Containers:Not suitable for containers
Awards and Recognitions:Other: 2008 Oklahoma Proven! plant selection

Fall fruit

American Beautyberry, Callicarpa americanaAmerican Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana
October 30, 2013

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

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Posted by plantladylin (East Central Florida - Zone 9b) 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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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread TitleLast ReplyReplies
Great berry arrangement by eclayneSep 3, 2012 1:15 PM1
Vine with your beautyberry by wildflowersOct 22, 2014 2:25 PM0
American Beauty plant by msp12845Nov 27, 2017 6:39 PM3
Please help id this bush by idreosAug 29, 2017 11:01 AM3
Are these Beautybush? by jlgardenAug 15, 2017 4:56 PM6
Wanted: Callicarpa americana (American Beauty Bush seeds) by TsFlowersDec 12, 2016 7:31 PM13
Beautyberry jelly by MinkySep 27, 2016 9:44 AM1
Sci-Fi shifting zones by crawgardenSep 23, 2016 11:26 AM8
Wildflower (or weed) ID please. by outofthegreenSep 5, 2016 8:54 PM10
Beautyberry by jolynAug 30, 2016 7:02 AM1
American Beauty Berry by sreneeJul 28, 2016 10:03 AM3
Missing label by lovesbloomsSep 4, 2016 8:57 PM9

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