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

Category:

Shrubs

Height:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Spacing:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Deciduous

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:

Non-patented

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

Regional

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

9
positives
3
neutrals
2
negatives
RatingContent
Negative

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

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

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

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

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

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
Orig... read more

Positive

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

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

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

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

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

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 u... read more

Positive

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

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.