Add Fall Interest to Your Landscape with Beautyberry

I first noticed Beautyberry on a drive home from the beach one September weekend about ten years ago.  I saw a bush in a North Carolina yard with a purple berry that I’d never seen.  When I got home, I researched and discovered that it was a Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana.  Beautyberry grows in my area of Virginia, but it is not a common plant in most people’s landscape.

Two Octobers ago, my friend Elsie and I were taking a walk in Southern Shores (OBX) between tennis matches.  We saw naturalized Beautyberry bushes in several locations, so of course I had to photograph it.

Isn’t it lovely?

This summer I tried to buy a Beautyberry at a local nursery but they didn’t have any available, although the owner promised to call when when a fall shipment arrived.  I got the call on Thursday that they were available and Saturday a Beautyberry came home with me.

Mine is just a baby with tiny little berries.  I’m hoping that I’ll see growth of the berries in the next few weeks.

Before I purchased the Beautyberry, I could have sworn that I read that this plant is deer proof.  Last night I read on a website that the foliage is a favorite amongst deer.  Oh no.  After I planted the Beautyberry, I gave it a good coating of Liquid Fence and I’ve got my fingers crossed that the deer will find something else to eat.

Have you noticed this plant where you live?


  1. Paula, I have one of these at the far edge of the yard, by the woods and the deer have never bothered it !

  2. It’s beautiful!! I have had the worst luck getting stuff to bloom around here. I even added stuff to my hydrangeas! I got one bloom. Each. :s My roses have done okay…hoping they come back nicely next year. 🙂

  3. this is so cute, i love the little purple berries. i’ve not heard of it before…nor have i heard of liquid fence! do you think that applies to squirrels and bunnies??

  4. So that’s what it is! My neighbor has a huge one that is an absolute knock-out when in full bloom. Such a lovely shaped plant, too. Good luck with the deer.

  5. Our landscape designer likes those and they are fairly common amongst people I know who used this particular guy. Keep it watered….mine all died, were replaced and died again. Still haven’t replaced them because I don’t like to water!

  6. I love bb’s!! My father in law use to have 6 or 8 plants and I would get cuttings for arrangements every year. Then one day he decided to bush hog them down, grrrr. I still give him a hard time for it.

  7. So that’s what it’s called! I’ve seen those bushes. I’ve never even heard the term “beautyberry.” Oh, I hope the deer leave yours alone–your yard is such a place of beauty!

  8. Hey, Paula. I have three of those myself. Mine are planted under a big oak tree and are not doing very well. I think I will dig them up and ammend the soil some. Yours looks very healthy. I’m sure you will have purple berries before you know it! Carla

  9. Paula, I have two there absoultely beautiful this year. There about 6 years old with lots of purple berries you will love it.Pat H

  10. Paula,
    Thank you…we have this plant and had no idea what it was. Last year we thought it might be a weed, so glad we kept it!
    We have too many deer in our woods and they have never touched it!! Hope the same for yours.

  11. I love the name of it! Beauty Berry- it sounds like if you ate it, it would magically turn you into the most beautiful maiden in all the land. But then, after discovering no difference in actual physical appearance, you would discover that your heart had been filled with joy and kindness and all sorts of the really best kinds of beauty. Big girl fairy tales, I guess.
    In any case, the plant is gorgeous, and I just love the purple berries!

  12. Its gorgeous. I just this weekend noticed this in bloom across the creek from our yard, but had no idea of its name, so thanks 🙂
    I hope the deer find something else to nibble on.

  13. These are gorgeous! I love the purple!
    I live in Illinois, so I’m guessing the wrong zone! I am becoming obsessed with hydrangeas.
    Have a fantastic weekend.
    Kerry at housetalkn.blogspot.com

  14. It is so pretty! I have seen that somewhere around here, but I can’t remember where! Maybe at our church in the flowerbeds.

  15. Beautyberry bushes are just gorgeous! You’ll love having it in your landscape. The only thing I’ve noticed is that the size of the berries depends on how much water they get. This year my berries were there but not plump since we hardly had any rain all summer and I didn’t water them.

  16. I have bb growing wild in my woodland garden. My garden is dry, rocky and has lot’s of oak. The native bb seem to love this and are VERY drought tolerant. The deer will nibble on mine, but don’t seem to really do much damage.

    If you have trouble getting the hybridized to work, let me know. Also, bb comes in WHITE too. 😉

    Lorrie C.

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