Callicarpa americana

(Photo by Jessica Bartek)

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Taxonomy (2)

Classification: Angiosperm, dicot
Family: Verbenaceae
Common name: American Beautyberry, French Mulberry

General Information (2)

Region of Origin: Southwest Maryland to North Carolina, Arkansas, south to Mexico and the West Indies states
USDA Plants Hardiness Zones: 7-10
Growth Habit: Shrub

  • Size: 3-8 feet
  • Deciduous/Evergreen: Deciduous
  • Flowering: June to August

Diagnostic Characteristics

Leaves (2)

  • Arrangement: Opposite
  • Simple/Compound: Simple
  • Shape: Ovate, ovate-lanceolate
  • Other: Serrate, extremely pubescent, 3.5-6 inches long

(Photo by Jessica Bartek)

Stem/Bark (3)

  • Color: Light brown- older wood, reddish-brown- younger wood
  • Texture: Smooth

Flower (2)

  • Color: Light lavender-pink
  • Inflorescence type: Axillary cyme

Fruit (2)

  • Fruit type: Fleshy drupe
  • Size: 1/4 inch long, 3/16 inch wide
  • Color: Rose pink, lavender pink

(Photo by Jessica Bartek)

Horticultural Information (1,2)

  • Soil type: Well-drained soils or light, sandy soils
  • pH: 5.6-7.5
  • Maintenance: Moderately easy
  • Landscape Uses: Ornamental shrub, borders, container plantings

Interesting Facts (3)

  • The seeds and berries are important foods for many species of birds, particularly the Northern Bobwhite. Foliage is a favorite of White-tailed Deer.
  • The roots, leaves, and branches were used by various Native American tribes for medicinal purposes to treat malarial fevers and rheumatism.


1) Day, J. Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford. Retrieved April 1, 2013, from:
2) Dirr, M. (1990). Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses (4th ed.). Champaign, Ill.: Stipes Pub.
3) Marcus, J. A. Retrieved April 1, 2013, from:

Prepared by Walter Sablack as a course requirement for BIOL 3630/5630, Spring 2013
Edited by Jessica Bartek