Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Purple Beautyberry
Callicarpa dichotoma

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Callicarpa (kal-ee-KAR-puh) (Info)
Species: dichotoma (dy-KAW-toh-muh) (Info)

Synonym:Callicarpa gracilis
Synonym:Callicarpa purpurea
Synonym:Porphyra dichotoma
Synonym:Callicarpa dichotoma

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

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By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Callicarpa dichotoma by Floridian

By tiG
Thumbnail #2 of Callicarpa dichotoma by tiG

By Floridian
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By plantdude
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By victorgardener
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By arielsadmirer
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By htop
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There are a total of 16 photos.
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9 positives
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative JudyinNC On Aug 3, 2011, JudyinNC from WILLOW SPRING, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

The berries are beautiful, but this plant has spread all over my large garden. I have found seedlings in the woodland areas, crowding out smaller native shrubs and small trees, in my flower beds, in the lawn...everywhere. If I don't pull them when they are small, they take root and are very hard to get rid of.

Positive humidcontntl On May 10, 2011, humidcontntl from Saint Paul, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

The native beautyberry sadly cannot be grown in Minnesota. This is an acceptable substitute, and it has survived a winter here well for a zone 5 plant. Those in the South who have something like this growing wild may be looking at the native beautyberry.

Negative soivos On Sep 7, 2009, soivos from Annapolis, MD wrote:

Calicarpa dichotoma is a non-native (Korean by way of Japan) and potentially invasive shrub.

Avoid this plant and choose the native Callicarpa americana instead for its bigger berries and more restrained habit.

Positive Sillikat On Sep 28, 2008, Sillikat from Sanford, NC wrote:

I found this plant a week ago while I was looking for my cats. The berries are a bright purple and I can't believe I only just noticed it. I would like to know how to grow more plants from the one I already have. I've read that you can gather the seeds or use the cuttings but it doesn't say how or where the seeds come from or what to do with the cuttings. I am very new to gardening and don't have a clue where to start. I just couldn't get over how I bright those berries are and my mother's favorite color is purple , I'm sure she would really like to have at least one plant if not more. I'd appreciate any help I can get.

Neutral LolaV On Dec 30, 2007, LolaV from Winter Park, FL wrote:

I have just spent the last two years managing a native plant nursery in Florida and learning a great deal about all sorts of species. According to one of my professors, American Beauty Berry conatins a mild hallucinogen, so those considering cooking with it might want to reconsider or at least investigate before doing so. I had eaten a small handful of the berries one day, and while I can't correlate the two with 100% certainty, I did experience some stomach problems a few hours later.
On another note, this species is also available in white berries, though I have not seen these to the extent that I have the purple ones.

Neutral onalee On Oct 14, 2007, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Quoted from Edward F. Gilman's University of Florida Fact Sheet On Callicarpa dichotoma:

"Perhaps the most beautiful Beautyberry, this species of
Callicarpa has smaller leaves than either the more common
American Beautyberry or Japanese Beautyberry.
Leaves are produced closer together on the stem forming a
smaller, more compact shrub. Like other Beautyberries, purple berries are produced in abundance in late summer and fall and persist on the plant after leaves have fallen. Berries appear consistently each year. The shrub forms the same cascading or weeping effect so common on other Beautyberries.

USDA hardiness zones: 5B through 8
Planting month for zone 7: year round
Planting month for zone 8: year round
Origin: not native to North America"

Positive dwiggs On Jul 18, 2007, dwiggs from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

the peaple who write of this plant in florida south of zone 8 are probobly talking about callicarpa americana(the american beautyberry)not the purple beautyberry (callicarpa dichotoma)
the american beautyberry grows USDA zone 7-11
the purple beautyberry grows USDA zone 5-8
they look just the same

Positive AnaM149 On Nov 10, 2005, AnaM149 from Casselberry, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This bush grows wild all around here. It is also at a park nearby and that is where I get my seeds. After I finally became aware of it, I realize just how prolific it really is. I even have one growing by the road just outside my subdivision. I am trying these from seed and hope that it works out. I know it will thrive on neglect and still set pretty berries. I tried some and they dont have much taste but I bet it would make a yummy pancake syrup! I understand Mockingbirds eat the berries and that is fine as I have a few in my backyard that nest every year.
I really like this bush, so pretty!

Positive Ladyborg On Nov 9, 2005, Ladyborg from Magnolia, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I thought this was a weed!!!!!!!!!! How funny! It's growing wild on our 5 acres in dappled shade in Magnolia, TX

Positive shortcm On Oct 11, 2004, shortcm from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7b) wrote:

The purple is var. "Issai". The white is our native "Americana".
These were being given out free at Winterthur's recent Garden Fair, so I'm going to try a few. I've seen an absolutely breathtaking hedge of them a few blocks away.

Positive broozersnooze On Oct 3, 2004, broozersnooze from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

First time I'd ever seen this plant. Spotted it on my morning walk past a neighbor's house that's been empty for about a year now. In light of that fact, seems to me to be a good one for xeriscaping as the owner has not been there to water regularly. The plant I saw is in an area that is mostly sunny.

The length of the branches of this plant are covered in clusters of strikingly beautiful purple berries. I'm 5'5" & am sure the plant is taller than I as I stood next to it & broke off a branch to root. Also saving some of the seeds to try to propagate.

Have not seen any "blooms" on this except for the berrries. Makes me wonder if some have flowers & others have seeds or what. No matter - awesome plant either way.

Positive suncatcheracres On Aug 5, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

This plant is native to my six acres in Northcentral Florida, zone 8b, and you can't walk anywhere on the property without seeing huge thickets of it. In early August it is just blooming under the shade of old live oaks--the small flowers are a pretty dusty pink--and it happily competes with groundcover vines like Virginia creeper, poison oak and trumpet creeper. It spreads rapidly by self sowing. We average 60 inches of rain a year, which may explain why it grows so well here.

My book on Florida native plants says to prune it severely almost to the ground in the garden in late winter which will then give vigorous young growth that blooms and fruits heavily. It also says it is deciduous in its Northern range, like here, but evergreen further to the South. It will grow under a wide variety of conditions and the flowers are attractive to butterflies, and some birds will eat the berries. There is a white form, with white flowers and berries, but the white berries discolor as they age. I think the purple berries are spectacular looking!

Positive Ladyfern On Aug 4, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Thriving in a SW exposure that many other plants can not tolerate. Grows in an attractive shape that needs no pruning.

Neutral Terry On Aug 22, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Purple Beautybush is grown (and known) mainly for its purple fruit that has an unusual iridescent sheen, sometimes described as "neon" or "metallic" in plant descriptions. The fruit is very attractive to birds. May die back to the ground in colder climates.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cullman, Alabama
Jones, Alabama
Knights Landing, California
San Anselmo, California
Westbrook, Connecticut
Wilmington, Delaware
Brooksville, Florida
Fort White, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (3 reports)
Largo, Florida
Old Town, Florida
Ormond Beach, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Williston, Florida
Winter Park, Florida
Monticello, Georgia
Snellville, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Brookville, Kansas
Danville, Kentucky
Newport, Kentucky
Galesburg, Michigan
Millington, Michigan
Horn Lake, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Kansas City, Missouri
Bridgeton, New Jersey
North Lawrence, New York
Staten Island, New York
Bessemer City, North Carolina
Mill Spring, North Carolina
Sanford, North Carolina
Willow Spring, North Carolina
Fort Jennings, Ohio
Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Florence, South Carolina
Iva, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Covington, Tennessee
Jackson, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Argyle, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Brazoria, Texas
Iredell, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
Port Neches, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Mineral, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin

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