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American Beautyberry, French Mulberry - Callicarpa americana


Family: Verbenaceae - Verbena family Genus Common Name: Beautyberry Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Shrub
Callicarpa americana - American Beautyberry, French Mulberry. American Beautyberry is a well-named shrub growing usually to around 5 feet tall, sometimes taller, and 5 to 10 feet wide. The beauty of this plant, native to the southeastern United States, makes it an attractive addition to a native garden.

According to the USDA, the roots, leaves, and branches were used by native Americans medicinally for treatment of fevers, rheumatism, stomachaches, dysentery, and other conditions.

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Check here for more information about Callicarpa americana.
Callicarpa americana

Distribution of Callicarpa americana in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 30 Apr 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Mountain Cove Farm, Walker County, Ga Date: 2010-September-20Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The most striking feature of Callicarpa americana are the clusters of beautiful violet to magenta berries that surround the stems at the leaf nodes.
Callicarpa americana

Site: Mountain Cove Farm, Walker County, GA Date: 2011-June-26Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The pale pink blossoms of American Beautyberry grow at the leaf nodes. Due to the leafy nature of the plant, they are not nearly as showy as the larger berries.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Callicarpa americana

Site: Mountain Cove Farm, Walker County, GA Date: 2010-September-20Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
The berries surround the stem at the leaf nodes. The leaves are opposite.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Callicarpa americana

Site: Walker County, GA (Cultivated) Date: 2011-June-25Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
When viewed in detail the American Beautyberry shows that it has beauty other than in its showy berries.

This photo is of a Beautyberry bush that I planted along our driveway the prior fall, so it is a cultivated specimen, rather than wild.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Callicarpa americana

Site: Mountain Cove Farm, Walker County, GA Date: 2010-September-20Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
The leaf of Callicarpa americana is somewhat ovate in shape with serrated margins.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Callicarpa americana

Site: Mountain Cove Farm, Walker County, GA Date: 2011-June-26Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Click on the photo for a larger image
Callicarpa americana

Site: Mountain Cove Farm, Walker County, GA Date: 2010-September-20Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
American Beautyberry is a shrub growing usually to around 5 feet tall, sometimes taller, and 5 to 10 feet wide. If you decide to plant one, make sure you allow plenty of room, unless you plan on pruning it back after the fruits are gone each season.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Callicarpa americana

Site: Mountain Cove Farm, Walker County, GA Date: 2010-October-30Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Click on the photo for a larger image
Callicarpa americana

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer