A common shrub of flatwoods, hammocks and along wooded road edges throughout all of Florida, including the keys. The range extends throughout the southeast, west into Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri, and north into Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland.
This multibranched deciduous shrub displays distinctive clusters of magenta to deep purple berries in the leaf axils from late summer through fall. Growing to 2 m (6-1/2 ft.) tall with clusters of small pinkish flowers in the leaf axils from late spring into summer. Leaves are opposite, simple, ovate, with crenate to serrate margins from below the midpoint to the tip. The leaves are aromatic when bruised. Both surfaces of young leaves, and the lower surface of older leaves are covered with star-shaped hairs.
Beautyberry makes an excellent landscape plant as it is tolerant of many conditions and transplants well. The abundant fruit is attractive to wildlife, especially birds. American beautyberry contains terpenoids that appear to be nearly as effective as DEET at repelling mosquitoes.
Previously considered a member of the Verbena family, Callicarpa americana has been reclassified into the Mint family.
Callicarpa americana is a member of the Lamiaceae - Mint family.
Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (Institute for Systemic Botany) profile for this species
USDA Plant Profile for this species
Date record last modified: Sep 09, 2019