Featured Flora Friday: American Beautyberry

American Beautyberry

The folks over at Garden Rant posted a lovey picture on an American Beautyberry yesterday. With its oval-shaped leaves and tiny bundles of purple-plum berries, the Beautyberry is a great native plant that remains a striking speciman well into the winter.

For part of the year, this shrub remains inconspicuous in the garden. In the summer, clusters of lavender flowers bloom from leaf nodes attracting butterflies. In the fall, berries with a rich, metallic luster appear on the beautyberry’s woody stems and remain even as the plant loses its leaves.

A Plant by Any Other Name:
While the American beautyberry is a common name for this southeastern native, it also goes by French mulberry, Spanish mulberry, dwarf mulberry, sow berry and sour berry. However, the shrub is not related to mulberries but to verbena.

Where it Grows:
Beautyberries can be found in southeastern forest from Maryland to Florida among pine, oak, and hickory trees. The shrub, which can grow up to 6 feet, is great in shade gardens.

From http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=41

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