Beautyberry: An Edible Landscape Plant with Many Potentials

Callicarpa americana, Beautyberry. UF/IFAS Photo: Josh Wickham.


Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), often known as American mulberry, is native to Florida. The beautyberry plant is small enough to be used in flower beds or as a standalone center. Its typical height is 6 feet and width is 5-8 feet. Birds will be attracted to the purple fruits long after the leaves have fallen off the vines. In September and October, fruit takes on a deep purple hue.


The Beautyberry is an easy and rewarding plant to grow in a home garden. Beautyberry is a perennial that can be planted at any time. Both full sun and partial shade are suitable for growing beautyberries. After it gets established, it can withstand dry conditions. Beautyberry plants thrive in moist, fertile soil like clay, but they can even flourish in sandy, less-than-ideal conditions. It is simple to propagate beautyberries from seed, of which there is an abundance, or softwood cuttings.


Naturalizing, edging, mass planting, container gardening, hanging baskets are all appropriate uses for beautyberries. Native Americans made a root tea to treat fevers and stomachaches to malaria and more, but the flavor has been described as bitter and mealy. There is a jelly that can be made from beautyberry fruits. Beautyberries have a sweet flavor with a hint of spice. There may be a resemblance in taste to Asian five spice for those who are familiar with it. Beautyberry has chemicals that have been extracted by scientists and shown to effectively keep off nuisance insects like ticks and mosquitoes. Various parts of the American beautyberry plant, including its roots, leaves, and branches, were used by Native Americans for their therapeutic value, as stated by the United States Department of Agriculture.

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Posted: February 13, 2023

Tags: Beautyberry

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