American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)


American Beautyberry is highly prized by today’s gardeners.    The beautiful purple berries are also valued by homeowners who want to add beneficial native shrubs.   This deciduous shrub can grow up to six feet tall with long arching branches.   It blooms from June to August with small white or pink blossoms.     Later in the fall the branches will produce clusters of purple berries.    These disappear quickly in cold weather because it is a great food source for native birds.    It will fruit the most in full sun but it can also be grown in part shade.   It requires minimal care once its roots are established.   The foliage can be killed back to the ground in harsh winters.   This will not affect the flowering because it blooms on new growth.

The Cherokee would use a decoction of roots and leaves to promote sweating.   The Cherokee believe that sweating was necessary to  rid the body of impurities.  They would also use a decoction of the berries to treat colic.



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