American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

Plantae>Magnoliophyta>Magnoliopsida>Lamiales>Verbenaceae>Callicarpa americana L.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) flowers

American Beautyberry is a medium-sized deciduous shrub with large opposite ovate leaves. The leaves and stems are scurfy-pubescent and smell vaguely of rotting oranges when rubbed. Beautyberry is fairly common in the Coastal Plain occasional in the Piedmont, and rare in the Mountains of North Carolina.

Two Asian species of Callicarpa (dichotoma and japonica) are becoming more common; these are distinguished by smaller leaves that are not pubescent beneath (except on the midrib).

Carteret Co., NC 7/13/2008.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) flowers

The flowers, which appear in summer, are small and lavender-white.

The opposite leaves have a unique smell when crushed, somewhat reminiscent of rotting oranges.

Carteret Co., NC 7/13/2008.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) fruit

The gaudy bright pink/purple fruits make beautyberry unmistakable when in fruit.

Scotland Co., NC 11/1/08.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) fruit

Scotland Co., NC 11/1/08.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

Scotland Co., NC 9/24/03.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

Craven Co., NC 9/6/03.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

Scotland Co., NC 9/24/03.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

Dare Co., NC 10/2/05.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) bark

Bark detail.

Pender Co., NC 8/12/07.

More information:
Floridata
USDA PLANTS databse
Virginia Tech Dendrology

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Revised 11/24/08 cwcook@duke.edu

All photographs and text ©2008 by Will Cook.