Callicarpa americana

American Beautyberry

Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Plant Specifics

Form:Shrub
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:White,pink
Fruit Color:White,purple
Phenology:
Noted for:Showy flowers, Showy fruits, Hurricane wind resistance

Landscaping

Recommended Uses:

Specimen plant, mass planting, casual shrub screen

Propagation:

Seed.

Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Quality nurseries, Seed
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Loam, Sand
Soil pH:5.2 - 7.0

Ecology

Wildlife:
 

Many bird species consume the showy fruit. 

Insects:
  

Larval host for for spring azure butterflies and snowberry clearwing moths.

Attracts various pollinators, especially bees.  Documented bees include Agapostemon splendens, Augochlora pura, Dialictus placidensis, Halictus ligatus, Megachile brevis pseudobrevis and the none-native Apis mellifera (honeybee) (Deyrup et al. 2002).

Native Habitats:

Dry mesic hardwoods, xeric hammock, scrubby flatwoods, flatwoods, disturbed dry-moist woods.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Comments

Ethnobotany:

Sometimes used to make jelly which is noted for its color.

There are three chemicals in the leaves that may be as effective as DEET as an insect repellant ((Cantrell et al. 2005; Cantrell & Klun 2011). One, callicarpenal, apparently deters biting by the yellow-fever mosquito and the mosquito that spreads malaria. Callicarpenal and other compounds isolated from the plant also repell fire ants and ticks.

General Comments:

Fruits are magenta. There is a white-fruited/white-flowered variety, uncommonly found naturally in Florida, that is sold occasionally.