Plant Spotlight – American Beautyberry

Our native Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, is a show-stopping staple for fall color in the garden.  With bright magenta berries, and a robust growing habit, it a sure winner if given a sunny location.  Once established, beautyberry is remarkably drought tolerant, but is adaptable to moist soils as well, as long as there is adequate drainage.  Beautyberry has a mature size of 4-6 feet depending on the environment, but can get larger the farther south you go, and spreads from beneath to fill in an area.  The dense, spreading habit helps keep weeds at bay, and is great for erosion control.  In spring the plant is covered with cute, little pink flowers, that are great for pollinating insects, but the real show is during the months of September and October as the berries ripen.  Several species of birds eat the berries.  It is hard to beat beautyberry for ease of care and dependable late season color.