It’s New To Me: American Beautyberry

Beautyberry 1

I spied it in a wooded area on Anastasia Island in Florida, and was immediately struck by the bright purple berries. I’d never seen this plant before.  According to the Florida Native Plant Society, it is Callicarpa Americana, commonly known as American Beautyberry and also as Dwarf Mulberry, Beautybush, Filigree, and French Mulberry.

Beautyberry 3

 

Apparently, Beautyberry is found over a large portion of the Southeastern U.S., produces berries year-round in many areas, is drought-resistant, and thrives in a wide range of conditions. Historically the roots, leaves, and berries were used by Native Americans to treat a variety of common ailments. The berries, which ripen in September and October, are edible (in small amounts) and can be used to make jellies and jams.  The crushed leaves still are used today as a folk remedy to repel mosquitoes and to keep flies and other biting insects away from horses and mules.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. yanniesaurus says:

    What a stunning little berry! I wonder if it holds that shade of magenta in a jam? Grow with love and laughter! xx Yannie from Shenanigarden.

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    1. From photos I’ve seen, it does hold that shade in jam and jellies. I would love to make some, but I’ve never seen the berries here where I live.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have it here, and I often grab a leaf and put it on my skin to keep flies or mosquitoes away. I eat the berries as we walk along too! They have a light lemon taste but are very mealy.

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    1. I don’t know how I’ve lived so long and never seen this before! I’m sure it grows around here somewhere. Live and learn! Somehow I knew you’d be familiar with it! 🙂

      Like

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