Purple Beautyberries in the garden

Fall color that is deer resistant

Purple berries on the stem

It’s been two years since I planted a pair of American Beautyberries (Callicarpa Americana) in the peony beds. I wanted to add something that would give interest later in the season in these two raised, full-sun beds. There are a few geraniums and other perennials in the beds now, but we wanted a bigger show with less weeding, so I am trying various types of flowering shrubs in the garden. These are especially nice for this time of year with the berries that ripen along the stem (sessile to the stem) where the flowers were a few weeks ago. The color is wonderful for this time of year.

Last year there were skimpy flowers and berries, but I guess the plants settled in because this year we have had loads of flowers and berries. These are facing north, and we just suffered through the winter of -30 temps, but they came back from the roots and look better than ever. We don’t water those beds much, so the plants have to be pretty self-reliant. Most of what I plant is a test in the first place to see how well something will grow and whether it will be worthwhile to add it to my favorite list (and/or recommend it to clients.) This seems to be a winner.

In mid-October, the foliage is turning from a yellowish-green to brownish-burgundy and is falling off. The berries stay on the stems after the foliage is gone (until the birds eat them) and you can see from the photo they still look fine in spite of the two frosts we’ve had by now. (no hard freeze yet). The deer leave them alone so far, so that’s a positive for us in that part of the garden.

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