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Callicarpa americana

Callicarpa americana
Callicarpa americana
Late-August flowers after a very late start to the season

Common name beautyberry
Family lamiaceae
Life cycle flowering shrub
Flowers pink (late spring)
Size 4-6 ft
Light sun-part shade

The primary attraction of this shrub are the violet berries in autumn - around early October in our climate. We have just one surviving specimen, out of a number I grew from seed years ago. For the longest time it didn't bloom, and I wasn't sure which species we had on our hands (I traded for seed of C. americana and C. japonica that year, and they kind of got mixed up along the way). But after a few years it finally fruited, and a quick look at photos of the two species convinced me it was the americana. It's took a long time to come into its own, but those berries sure are striking!

Then one year, it failed to regrow from the wood in spring, looking dead until new growth emerged from near ground level in early June. I transplanted it to a different location, after which it did OK - but the same thing happened the following year. This lends some credence to sources who rate this species hardy to zone 7 rather than zone 6 (our garden is in zone 6).

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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