Monday, September 6, 2010

Beauty Berry

Although I  spent a few years trying to chop this out of my garden, once I let it grow and saw the berries, beauty berry has a home.  It grows wild here and I have it where ever it pops up.  I believe that the plant we have growing up and down the street is callicarpa americana  which is indigenous to the southeastern United States.
each berry is about 4-5mm

Lori Anderson, maker of fabulous jewelry and whirlwind of energy behind the Bead Soup Party, commented that she had never seen it before.  Neither had I before I moved to the South (USDA hardiness zone 8b).  You and Lori can locate your growing zones on the USDA Plant Hardiness Map at the US National Arboretum  site.  The map subdivides zones which really helped me to understand my growing zone.  Although we are in Georgia, we are more like central Florida than central Georgia.  In fact, my little corner of town is even warmer and wetter because it is insulated by acres of swamp.

Many people in this area spend time getting rid of it, but its long arching branches and palm-sized leaves shade a grouping of ferns that needed a bit of cover after I pruned a camelia back by a third.  I felt pretty good about allowing them to grow because the birds could eat the berries, but I have read that they will do this only as a last resort when all other food sources are gone.  They will grow in zones 5 to 8, and if you are looking to plant some, there are long discussions about them at iVillage Garden Web and Dave's Garden.  I've also read that it can help keep flies, ticks, and mosquitoes out of the yard.
leaves turn yellow in the fall and berries become brighter


  1. I am a fan of anything that keeps flies, ticks and mosquitoes out of the yard! And yes, Badlands....palette for the week! You gonna play? :)

  2. I live in the Tampa Bay area and have plenty Beauty Berry bushes in our yard, we like it not only for its 'beauty' but also for the fact that it is native. In fact, I use a picture of it as my profile pic. I even blogged about it once, check it out at - let me know if you agree? Glad you discovered the Beauty Berry.

  3. Hi there. Your blog is a peach! Lovely photos and writings. Thanks for sharing'


  4. Another titbit about the Beauty Berry, old time Floridian or 'Crackers' as they were known used to make jelly from the berries! So it is not just for the birds...