Common Name: beautyberry
Botanical Name: Callicarpa species
Form: cascading stems
Plant Type: deciduous shrub
Mature Size: depends on variety
Origin: Asia, Central America, North America
Hardiness Zone: depends on variety
Foliage: dull green, pinnate, serrated, simple leaves 1” to 3” long turn yellow in fall
Flowers: small violet, pink or white inconspicuous flowers held in clusters in the axils along stems in early summer
Fruit: shiny violet bead-like drupes held in clusters that wrap around stems
Stems: opposite leaf arrangement
Exposure: sun to part shade, too much shade produces leggy plants
Soil: soil tolerant prefers well-drained, medium moisture.
Uses: garden borders, native gardens, informal, cottage, butterfly, bee and bird gardens, winter interest
Propagation: softwood cuttings in spring or semi-ripe cuttings in summer
Pruning: blooms on new growth, prune back to 12 inches above the ground in late winter to early spring to promote compact growth
Problems: scale, mildew leaf scorch but are uncommon, may die back in harsh winters, but will regrow
Cultivars: numerous, see below
Flowers attract bees and butterflies, the berries attract birds. Group a few together to increase cross pollination and more fruit.
The Callicarpa genus includes 140 species of shrubs and trees. All bear dense clusters of white, pink, red or purple flowers during the summer followed by clusters of purple, magenta coloured bead-like fruit that deepen in colour as they age. Berries persists well after the leaves have fallen for a dramatic and colourful fall and winter display.
Four species are used in ornamental gardens American Beautyberry C. americana, which is hardy in Zones 6 to 10. The Asian species (Callicarpa japonica, C. dichotoma, C. bodinieri are hardy in Zones 5 to 8. All species bear purple berries through fall and winter.