Herbs & Plants

Callicarpa americana

Botanical Name: Callicarpa americana
Family: Lamiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Callicarpa
Species: C. americana

Common Names: American Beautyberry, Beautyberry, French Mulberry, American Beautyberry

Habitat: Callicarpa americana is native to Southern United States. and C. americana extends from Maryland to Florida, west to Texas and Arkansas, and also Mexico, Bermuda, the Bahamas and Cuba. It grows on the Woodland Garden Dappled Shade.

Callicarpa americana is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.8 m (6ft) at a slow rate. It can reach 9 ft. in height in favorable soil and moisture conditions.. It is in flower from June to July. The berries ripen in September through October. It has long, arching branches and yellow-green fall foliage, but its most striking feature is the clusters of glossy, iridescent-purple fruit (sometimes white) which hug the branches at leaf axils in the fall and winter. Bark light brown on the older wood, reddish brown on younger wood. Bark smooth, with elongate, raised corky areas (lenticels); twigs round to 4 sided, covered with branched hairs visible under a l0x hand lens. Leaves in pairs or in threes, blades half as wide as long and up to 9 inches long, ovate to elliptic, pointed or blunt at the tip and tapered to the base; margins coarsely toothed except toward the base and near the tip, teeth pointed or rounded; lower surface of young leaves covered with branched hairs. Flowers small, pink, in dense clusters at the bases of the leaves, clusters usually not exceeding the leaf petioles. Fruit distinctly colored, rose pink or lavender pink, berrylike, about 1/4 inch long and 3/16 inch wide, in showy clusters, persisting after the leaves have fallen.


Callicarpa americana requires a sunny position or light dappled shade[1, 200]. Prefers a highly fertile well-drained loamy soil. This species is hardy to about -18°c according to one report whilst another says that it is only really hardy in the milder parts of Britain, though some forms should prove to be hardier. Requires cross-pollination for good fruit production. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Special Features: Attracts birds, North American native, Fragrant foliage, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Through seeds – sow February in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 months at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 10cm long, July/August in a frame. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth with a heel taken in early spring.

Edible Uses:
Fruits are edible, eaten – raw. Juicy, sweet, fleshy, slightly aromatic. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the root bark has been used as a diuretic. The leaves are a cure for dropsy. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of dysentery and stomach aches. A tea made from the roots and berries is used in the treatment of colic. Some native North American Indian tribes used the leaves and roots in sweat baths for the treatment of malaria, rheumatism and fevers.

Other Uses:
The fruits are favorite among wild bird species including cardinals, mockingbirds, finches, woodpeckers and more. Beautyberry is commonly planted in landscape designs to attract wildlife because of the food source the berries provide and the cover animals get from the shrub itself. Foliage is a favorite of White-tailed Deer.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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