American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

Beautyberry can be found growing wild along the paths all over The Woodlands. It is a deciduous bush with bright purple berries that appear late summer. It has been found to be an insect repellent and is recommended as a natural way to help keep mosquitoes away.

The berries are very astringent but will be eaten by the birds and other wildlife late winter when other food supplies have vanished. Flowers are tiny, lilac and appear late spring.

The shrub will reach 7′-8′ in height.

Dappled shade is best, it does not mind bad soil and is drought tolerant once established. In full sun leaves become a more yellow-green color. It prefers slightly acidic soil so add vinegar to water occasionally in years when we don’t have much rainfall.

Flowers and berries are on new growth so prune heavily late winter.

This is a good plant for adding color to wooded, shady areas where it is otherwise difficult to grow plants.  It grows wild along the pathways here in full sun to part shade and in dry to wet areas. It should need little care once established.

Survived summer drought and extreme heat 2011, but somewhere along the way I lost it.

I’ve noticed a lot more of these popping up in home gardens. With some creative pruning they can be a real show stopper. I’ve added them to my list of plants to add in next spring.