Beauty Berry is a great deciduous shrub for large gardens. Purple beauty berry (Callicarpa dichotoma) will attract many birds to your yard or garden. Get facts and information on growing beauty berry bushes.
Beauty Berry Facts, Description and Information
Purple beautyberry has fabulous fall fruits that attract birds, but the plant isn’t just for birds- its for gardeners who can appreciate the gloriously abundant, lilac-violet berries crowding its stems. It is a purple shrub used in large gardens and looks its best planted in masses that increases the effect with an abundance of purple.
Although the pink, summer flowers are rather pretty, this medium green shrub, with long branches that bend to the ground and a refined rounded to drooping habit, mostly blends into the background. But when the leaves yellow and drop to expose the fruits in September and October, purple beautyberry is in its glory. Beauty berry thrives in summer heat, grows moderately, and has a medium landscape texture.
Beauty berry bears 1-3”, simple, medium green leaves with pointed tips and partly serrated edges. The leaves will also turn yellow in the fall. They occur on a single plane, so the long, arching branches have a layered, weeping effect. The thin, new stems have a ruddy cast, but the bark is not ornamental.
Clusters of small, light pink flowers appear above the leaves up and down the stem from June through August. The 1/8”, lilac-violet fruits appear in tight bunches along the stems in September and October, sometimes lasting into winter. This species differs from others with smaller leaves and overall habit.
Landscape Uses of Beauty Berry
For maximum effect and superior fruiting, grow beauty berry in masses or small groups in beds, borders, or the understory of lightly wooded areas. If you have less room, grow it in a container or as a border accent. Beauty bush can make an unusual informal hedge that attracts birds to your landscape. Fruit-laden stems make striking accents in fall flower arrangements.
Origin: Tropics to subtropics of China and Japan.
Hardiness Zones: (5) 6-8.
Light: Full sun to part shade.
Soil: Moist, well-drained, neutral soils; tolerates loam, clay, and sandy soils.
Growing Beauty Bush
Plant this low-maintenance shrub any time during the growing season. To restore bushiness, cut back to 1’ in late winter or early spring when necessary. In Zone 5, trim it to 1’ every spring, since the top of the plant may not be winter hardy.
Pruning: Over time, plants may start looking scraggly, but that’s easily remedied by cutting them back to 1’ tall in late winter.
Diseases: Black mold, leaf spot, and stem problems may also affect plants from time to time.
Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’ has profuse, lilac-purple fruits on a small arching shrub. 3-4’ h and w.
Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Issai’ has an attractive habit with young plants producing abundant bright purple fruits earlier than the species. 4’-6’ h and w. Zones 4-8.
Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’ has big clusters of violet fruits in fall. The new foliage is bronzy purple and has a more upright habit, turning green in summer and orange to purple in fall. 8’ h x 5’ w in Zones 5-8.
Callicarpa japonica ‘Heavy Berry’ has prolific fruits. 4-6’h and w. In Zones 5-8.
Callicarpa japonica ‘Leucocarpa’ has white fruits, 4-6’ and w. in Zones 5-8.