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.
Callicarpa americana, commonly called 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.
Genus name comes from Greek meaning beautiful fruit.
Specific epithet means of the Americas.
Beautyberry is relatively disease and pest free.
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.