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American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

Scientific Name: Callicarpa americana
Available Size: 2-3′

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Common Name: beautyberry  
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 6 to 10
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Lavender, pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Insignificant
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Clay Soil


This native plant prefers the soil of its natural forest floor habitat – a moist clay or sand enriched with organic matter. It will fruit most abundantly in full sun but may be grown in light shade. The plant needs minimal care once its roots are established. Since Missouri is at the northern edge of beautyberry’s range, the foliage will be killed back to the ground in most winters. This will not affect the flowering as the plant blooms on new growth. In warmer areas, this shrub may be pruned back to about 2′ less than the desired size. Propagate by cuttings or from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Beautyberry is a loose open shrub valued for its spectacular fruits. The relatively insignificant flowers develop into prolific bright violet to magenta berry-like drupes which encircle the stem. These fruits remain attractive for a long time although they are generally gone before severe winter weather.

General Use

The size and loose open habit of beautyberry makes it best for the back of a shrub border where it may be massed in large landscapes or where it may be naturalized. Beautyberry plants are said to bear more fruit if several are planted together.


Beautyberry is relatively disease and pest free.

Additional information
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Forest ReLeaf of Missouri