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American Beautyberry

American Beautyberry

Common Name: American Beautyberry

Botanical Name: Callicarpa americana

American Beautyberry

Plant family: Verbenaceae

Location: East Terrace Switchback

Growing zone: 6b -10

Height: 3-8 ft.

Spread: 3-6 ft.

Bloom time: June, July, August

Bloom description: Small, light-pink flowers bloom on the axils of this native shrub. As the blooms are pollinated and mature, they give way to the real attraction: clusters of 1/4 in. purple fruits. The berries surround the stems in late summer through early fall.

Leaf type: The light-green, serrated leaves are fragrant when crushed. Paired with crushed berries and rubbed on the skin, leaves can be used as a natural insect repellent. They turn a light yellow in fall.

Garden uses: American Beautyberry is used as a mass planting in most locations on our site. Small groupings in a home garden can have a large impact, as the purple berries pair well with the yellow, red, and orange fall color of other trees and shrubs. It can also be used in mixed plantings in a fall garden paired with native perennials such as Arkansas Amsonia and New England Asters. American Beautyberry prefers part sun to sun in moist, well-drained soil.

Wildlife benefits: The flowers attract several species of butterflies and other pollinators. The purple berries provide late-season food, although birds do not seem to be particularly fond of them.