-

-
Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Callicarpa 'Profusion', My Favorte Plant This Week.

If you are looking for a plant that will charm your socks off in the fall and through  a bit of winter, Callicarpa, commonly called Beauty Berry,  is the shrub for you!   


 Here's some information borrowed from The Missouri Botanical Garden:

Common Name: beautyberry
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Lavender
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Showy


Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best flowering and fruiting in full sun. Stems can become leggy in too much shade. Prune in early spring if needed. Flowers bloom on new wood. Plant in a protected location in USDA Zone 5 where the above-ground stems may not be reliably winter hardy. In the alternative, shrubs may be grown in the manner of herbaceous perennials in Zone 5 by pruning stems back to 6” in late winter each year. Best cross-pollination and resultant fruit production occur when shrubs are planted in groups or massed.

 


Noteworthy Characteristics

This species of beautyberry is a rounded, deciduous shrub that typically grows 6-10’ tall with upright slender branching. It is primarily included in the landscape for its showy fall display of glossy violet fruit. ‘Profusion’ typically grows to 6’ tall and as wide and is noted for its abundant fruit production. Clusters (cymes) of small, lavender flowers bloom in the leaf axils along the stems in summer. Flowers are followed by large clusters of bright, glossy, violet-purple fruits (each 1/6” diameter) which ripen in September and put on their best show through October. Fruits persist beyond the point of leaf drop but not very far into winter. Elliptic to ovate-elliptic leaves (to 5” long) with acuminate tips emerge bronze purple in spring, mature to dull dark green and turn purplish in fall.


 Garden Uses
Group or mass. Borders, bird gardens. Underplanting for open woodland areas. For an interesting fall berry display, plant in combination with other fall berry-producing shrubs such as Ilex verticillata (red berries) and Pyracantha (orange berries).

For more interesting information about this gorgeous shrub and other Callicarpas,  look here.

Imagine this underplanted with an orange grass... Yum!

It's a fairly common shrub but those somewhat less than subtle berries thrill me.  Mine is planted in my parking strip near where I park so it sends me off to work with a smile each morning and welcomes me home with violet charm at the end of the day. 

The weekly favorite meme is hosted by Loree at Danger Garden.  Be sure to click on over there to check out what other gardeners are loving in their gardens this week.

16 comments:

  1. Great choice! Beautyberry is at its peak right now. Mine is near the front entry so, like you, I get a charge of joy from it every day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah you've taken me back to when I saw my first beautyberry (in front of a house here in Portland) and I practically slammed on the brakes I was so enthralled. Excellent placement in your garden for daily enjoyment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to bring back happy memories of near traffic accidents!

      Delete
  3. And beauty it is! Those fluorescent purple berries is attention grabbing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have some native callicarpa growing in the woods behind my house. I wonder if they take to transplanting. Your idea of growing them with pyracantha has peaked my imagination!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could take credit for that idea but it also came from the Missouri Botanical Garden. The red and purple berries would be interesting together. Go for it!

      Delete
  5. I planted a beautyberry just a year or so before we moved here from Massachusetts, so I never really got to see it reach its full glory. I don't remember it having quite so many berries as yours. They were definitely that shade of purple though. So bright!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. maybe we need to find you one for your new garden in the wild west! Hope your back is continuing to heal!

      Delete
  6. Another plant I have long coveted - and can't grow in SoCal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it funny, I covet many of the plants that are hardy in the ground for you that we baby in pots and haul inside for the winter. I guess the garden is always greener on the other side.

      Delete
  7. We have one but it just doesn't get enough sun to be showy like yours. I love the lavender berries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a pretty thing and is producing a lot more berries now that I chopped down the tree under which it had been growing.

      Delete
  8. I was just noticing my Callipcarpa yesterday. This is one of my favorite plants, too. I have mine behind some St, Johns Wort which blooms yellow and has decided to bloom now. Better late than never and a stunning combo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, that would be a beautiful combination!

      Delete

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.