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American Beautyberry

Callicarpa americana

Other common name(s):

French Mulberry

Family:

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain
Bastrop Lost Pines, Floodplains and Low Terraces2, Northern Post Oak Savanna, Northern Prairie Outliers, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands
Floodplains and Low Terraces4, Lower Rio Grande Alluvial Floodplain, Mid-Coast Barrier Islands and Coastal Marshes, Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Southern Subhumid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Flatwoods, Floodplains and Low Terraces3, Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces, Red River Bottomlands, Southern Tertiary Uplands, Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Shrub

Height

4
to
6
ft.

Spread

4
to
6
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Well Drained, Moist, Dry, Neutral

Light Requirement

Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low, Medium

Native Habitat

Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

White, Pink

Bloom Season

Summer

Seasonal Interest

Berry, Forage, Nectar

Wildlife Benefit

Browsers, Butterflies, Birds, Small Mammals

Maintenance

Great understory shrub. Easily propagated and requires little maintenance. Needs moisture and deep soil. Give lots of room for its long arching stems. Prune only errant branches and to control size if space is an issue. The shrub may temporarily defoliate and drop fruit during periods of prolonged summer drought. Propagation: Seed, Root cuttings.

Comments

Blooms May-July. Long, graceful, arching stems. Oval leaves coarsely toothed. Flowers white to pink, arrange in clusters. Striking iridescent-purple fruit (sometimes white) in fall and winter. Native habitat, woods, bottom lands, thickets. Nectar attracts butterflies. Fruit is an important food source for many species of birds and small mammals. Foliage is a favorite of white-tailed deer.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym/s: Callicarpa americana var. lactea

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CAAM2. 3) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Callicarpa+americana&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=13314&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 5) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 6) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 235. 7) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=32144#null, 8) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014., 9) https://rootedin.com/tough-texas-native-plants-for-shade-creating-a-cool-haven-before-the-heat/