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Native Plant of the Week: American Beautyberry

Family: Verbenaceae

Name: Callicarpa americana - American Beautyberry

Bloom Time:

Flower: Pale Pink

Soil Condition: Average, Moist

Light: Sun, Partial Shade

Height: 3-6' tall by 3-5' wide

Native Range: Southeastern United States

Zone: 6 to 11

Callicarpa americana is a show stopper in the autumn garden with its magenta berries. You can't not see it! If it was not for the native pollinators doing their thing, the pale pink flowers are almost overlooked. American Beautyberry is a good understory shrub and is also at home in a planter. This underused shrub is a very important plant for wildlife, particularly the Northern Bobwhite (which is making a comeback) and other songbirds that eat the berries. Unfortunately, the deer do nibble the foliage. Tolerates clay soil. It will self sow in the garden which just means more to share!

Fun Facts: We can eat the berries too and the leaves can be made into a mosquito and tick repellent!

Maintenance: Cut back to 12" tall in late winter to control the size or you can let it grow naturally. Blooms on new growth. In harsh winters, it may die back to the crown but it will regrow in spring.

Benefits: Great value to wildlife, host plant to Spring Azure and Snowberry Clearwing Moth

Companion Plants: Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea), Aronia arbutifolia - Red Chokeberry, Symphytrichum oblongifolium - Aromatic Aster, Panicum virgatum - Switchgrass, Solidago odora - Sweet Goldenrod, Geum fragarioides - Barren Strawberry

pics: KMS Native Plants LLC




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