Callicarpa americana or Beautyberry

This was a new addition to my garden last year.  I was amazed at how the little twig that I purchased grew into this three foot shrub in one season.   I’m also excited to finally have these gorgeous purple berries.  I’ve been really pleased with the natives I’ve been adding to my yard yearly.  They really are troopers despite whatever Mother Nature throws at them.   Here’s some more info on this plant:

  • Attracts birds, butterflies and bees
  • Propagate through semi-hardwood cuttings/seeds 
  • Deciduous ornamental shrub
  • Blooms can be lavender, white or pink
  • Prefers sun to partial shade
  • 3-6 ft tall and wide (depending on soil type)
  • Part of the Verbena family
  • Also called French Mulberry
  • Berries are important for certain species of birds
  • Native to the United States
  • Blooms May – July
  • Hardy in zones 6a-10b

10 responses to this post.

  1. WOW and WOW! That grew in one season! Amazing! We planted both raspberries and blueberries, and they were twigs too. Both got green leaves and both are now twigs again because all the leaves fell off. What is your secret? Did you use fertilizer?

    Thanks Meems. 😉 Yep all in one season, amazing huh? Nope no fertilizer, it just seems happy in this spot. I got lucky. 🙂


  2. I am glad to see these coloured up in your garden, that means we will be getting them at the flower shop to design with. Although they can only be used for big arrangements, the way the berries are held along the stem.

    Oh I didn’t realize they used these branches in arrangements. I bet those are pretty. 🙂


  3. This is one of my favorite natives, and I finally planted one last fall. Dufus me forgot where I put it and cut it to the ground by accident this spring. It did leaf out and has berried up.

    Yep it’s on my list of faves now too. I’m glad yours bounced back inspite of your accidental trimming. 🙂


  4. This is on my plant wish list for this fall! I saw one in the nursery this week, and those purple berries are beautiful. It’s amazing how much yours has grown in just this one year, Racquel.

    Good choice Rose, don’t think you’ll be sorry that’s for sure. I was really please with the amount of growth this season too. 🙂


  5. It’s a great plant! The purple berry clusters are well worth the wait. also it will propagate very easily from softwood cuttings in spring too. This is one of those plants that I think anyone can propagate!

    Thanks for that info Dave, I might have to make me some more plants. 🙂


  6. That’s some impressive growth for a shrub! I’m in love with Beautyberry, and just need to find a spot for it…I will definitely include it somewhere in the garden…funny, I didn’t realize they were natives, that’s a nice bonus!

    Thanks Scott. Mine is planted in mostly shade. It gets some dappled morning sunlight and seems fine with it. Yep that is the biggest bonus if you ask me. 😉


  7. Be warned-next year it will be much bigger! I cut mine back to my knees each year and it grows back like crazy though it is slow to get started in the spring. This year is the first time I’ve found seedlings-like 50 so far! Yikes! I’m potting them up for a MG plant sale but not sure if I like that feature so my beautyberry’s days may be numbered. Maybe I’ll just plant one of the seedlings in the wild garden though as I hate to trash it. It is very pretty with all those berries and you are right on the caterpillars.

    Thanks for the heads up Tina. Good to know info! I’ll cut it back in the spring when I cut the Buddleia. Oh don’t tell me that this pretty plant is a thug, that would break my heart. 😦


  8. I’ve never planted this plant before.. I’ll have to try it.

    It’s worth it for the pretty purple berries alonge DGG. 🙂


  9. It might just have been the weather this year on the seedlings. Not sure, but still worth keeping somewhere and the seedlings can be shared. Yup, cut it just like the butterfly bush. It loves it!

    That’s an interesting thought Tina. I’ll keep an eye out for unwanted volunteers that’s for sure. Thanks for the tips. 🙂


  10. I enjoyed your post. I planted a couple beauty berry bushes last year after seeing them on blogs. I didn’t know they are related to verbenas, and don’t remember if I knew they are native. Mine are sprawling a bit, but the berries sure are pretty. I am in zone 5b, so I hope they continue to survive the winters here.

    Thanks Sue. Glad this post was informative for you. 🙂 They tend to be sprawlers from my experience. I gave mine a trim to keep their shape. Hope they survive, you might have a microclimate in your yard.


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