Saturday, November 17, 2007

American Beautyberry

Callicarpa americana, aka American Beautyberry is a southern heritage plant and native to this part of the country. It is a beautiful and easy to grow shrub for your landscape.

Many landscapes around Clarksville are graced with this shrub. The flowers are not showy nor are the leaves. I do think the shrub's form is noteworthy but the shrub's main claim to fame is its berries. The berries are a rich magenta purple which persist on the bush well after all of the leaves have dropped. The berries look like little jewels clustered all around the branches. The effect is unusual and quite a sight. Birds love to eat the berries. My beautyberry pictured above would usually have more berries but it was set back by the late frost and subsequent drought.

In my garden I have two beautyberries. One I ordered from mail order and the other was a gift from a gardening friend (Diann). Diann started the shrub from berries she picked and planted. These shrubs are four years old and are about three feet high and four feet wide. The branches gracefully seem to cascade out from a central stem low to the ground. When planting you need to allow for the cascade and ultimate spread as shade cast by the branches is deep.

Don't forget, I will reveal which bottle tree is mine on Wednesday and I also received an email from Felder Rushing himself concerning the history of bottle trees. I will post the information on Wednesday. My mother guessed the right bottle tree so you all give it a try!

in the garden....

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