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Beautyberry

Beautyberry Callicarpa Lubera

Buying a Callicarpa is always worthwhile because this pretty, small shrub, which is also known as beautyberry, is an incredible eye-catcher in autumn due to its shimmering violet, metallic-looking berries. Also, for floristic purposes, the beautyberry (Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion') is a tremendous asset. The berries keep well into the winter months and they look good even under a snow cap. They are also popular for autumn arrangements and wreaths because they last a really long time in this form. You can rarely buy the branches of this ornamental shrub with its pretty berries, so it is worth buying your own and planting it in your garden.

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion', which has purple foliage, is the most popular beautyberry in gardens. The green foliage is a stunning contrast to the beautyberry Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai', which turns red in autumn. Buying this variety is also a pleasure, as it already pleases the eye with its fresh green leaves in the summer.

   
 
Beauty Berry 'Issai'

Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai' has purple fruits in autumn

£21.40 *

Beauty berry ´Profusion´

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'

From £20.40 *

   
 
Beautyberry Callicarpa Lubera

Buy a Beautyberry - The Perfect Addition to Your Garden

In shrub borders, as a backdrop for perennial flowerbeds, but also for mixed rose beds or between rhododendrons, these plants with their beautiful foliage, small flowers in July and purple berries are a real asset. Planted in larger groups, Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion' sometimes serves as a ground cover. The hotter the weather is in July, the more shimmering purple fruits they form. Ideally, several beautyberries should be planted together because they form even more fruits in a group than when they are alone.

The most common variety of beautyberry in this country is Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion', which originally comes from western and central China, and it is fully frost hardy here. This bushy, deciduous shrub is a good two metres high. It is characterised by its upright growth. The foliage is purple in colour, later turning dark green. The leaves are ovate and pointed. The small, purple-coloured flowers of the beautiful fruit appear in the leaf axils starting in July and August. From September, the ornamental shrub then forms the typical bright, in this variety dark purple, shiny metallic berries, for which it is so loved. The purple berries stand in dense clumps and last for a long time after the foliage has already fallen from the shrub in autumn. Especially in rose beds or in a rhododendron bed, beautyberries are stunning with their unusual, purple-coloured fruits and their beautiful growth late in the year.

There is also an American beautyberry, which is rarely used in Europe. This is an interesting garden plant, however, the variety of Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai', is also characterised by its dense, upright habit. Its ovate to elliptical leaves are pointed and the foliage is bright green in colour. The individual leaves can be up to 10 centimetres long. In July, this variety forms pale pink flowers from axillary buds. They grow to one to two centimetres wide. In autumn, these form the popular purple fruits that have a rather dark lilac colour with this variety. This beautyberry comes from China, Korea and Japan, and is frost hardy here. Also, it can be combined well with roses or rhododendrons and it can also be used as ground cover.

The Ideal Location

Beautyberries like to grow in sparse groups where they produce more fruit than when they are alone. The plants thrive in any normal garden soil that is not too dry. The sun is best for them, but they also manage well in partial shade. They are easy to grow and have no special requirements. Even in a pot on the balcony or on the terrace they can be well cultivated since they are really quite robust and good-natured. They should never dry out too much. And if they are grown in a container, they can also be cut back, so that they do not take up too much space.

Planting

Like all ornamental shrubs, Callicarpa bodninieri 'Profusion' can be planted out in a garden throughout the entire year, as long as the soil is frost-free. The planting hole should be at least twice as large as the root ball. The soil should be well loosened before planting. Then carefully pull the shrub out of the pot and then tear up the root ball. It is important that the roots are not entangled before planting. They should be well laid out in the planting hole before filling it with soil. The shrub must be the same height in the garden as it was in the pot. Once planted, water well, so that the roots immediately come into contact with the soil, allowing them to grow rapidly. For a while after planting the shrub should still be watered in dry weather. Later, it no longer needs special care.

How To Prune

Beautyberries tolerate pruning. Mostly in the autumn months, Calliparpa Bodinieri 'Profusion' can be cut to use the branches with the beautiful berries for bouquets and other floristic arrangements. Thereafter, the shrubs should be brought back into shape again. Or, when harvesting, be sure to cut them nicely, i.e. cutting branches out of the bush a bit at a time, so that the bush does not become too bulky in the end. If necessary, even larger branches can be cut to the ground directly from the shrub's interior in order to rejuvenate it. If your beautyberry is in a container on a balcony or on a terrace, it can be cut back quite a bit if necessary, to meet the space requirements.

Are the Fruits Edible?

No, the fruits of Callicarpa Bodinieri 'Profusion' and the other varieties are not edible. And they do not work as an aphrodisiac. They are named in some countries as love pearls, only because they are so enticing on the branches in the winter and remind one of colourful sugar pearls. The branches are mainly used as garden decorations and for floristic purposes. In modern floristry, they are extremely popular because of their eye-catching colour and the sheen of the berries and because they last a very long time.

Where Does Callicarpa Come From?

This beautiful plant has around 140 species and comes mainly from tropical and subtropical areas in Asia, where they occur as deciduous shrubs in sparse forests. Today they belong to the Lamiaceae family. Until the 1990s, they were still counted among the verbena plants. In the garden, these plants like to grow in shrub borders or in the background of perennial beds.

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