Callicarpa americana, the American beautyberry, is a perennial shrub. It is an open-habitat, native shrub of the Southern US which is often grown as an ornamental in gardens and yards. American beautyberries produce large clusters of purple berries, which birds and deer eat, thus distributing the seeds. Berries are also edible in moderate amounts for humans. Roots can be used for tea while its berries can be made into jelly or wine. Bees and other pollinators really enjoy it when it is blooming! They grow to about 4-6' in height. Its leaves have long been believed to have insect repelling properties and studies show promising results.
Water early in the day to avoid moisture loss and allow the foliage to quickly dry in the sunshine. Plant beautyberries in full sun to partial shade spots in your landscape. The beautyberry tolerates various soil conditions but grows best in moist, well-draining soils.
American beautyberry can be propagated by transplanting volunteer plants, softwood cuttings, or seeds. Volunteer plants are very hearty and can be dug up and transplanted to a different location. Softwood stem cuttings (4” to 6” long) can be taken in the summer and fall.
Beautyberries are an important food source for many birds, such as bobwhite quail, robins, cardinals, catbirds, finches, mockingbirds, thrashers and towhees. Other animals that eat the fruit include armadillos, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, gray foxes, and some rodents. The white tail deer will browse the leaves.