Beautyberry 3 gallon
days to maturity:
plant spacing: 1 plant per 6 square feet
sunlight requirements: 6-14 hours
look out for: leaf spots and black mold
harvest notes: prune plants in the fall or winter
American Beautyberry is a fast growing native perennial shrub; growing 5-8 feet tall and almost as wide with drooping branches. Stems are slender, gray to reddish brown, and four sided, growing leaves with wooly like hairs on their undersides. Once, sometimes twice a year, cluster of inconspicuous flowers in blue, violet, pink, or white appear on stems between the leaves, followed by clusters of small purple to blue berries, true beauties. While not so flavorful, the berries are edible and are a sweet addition to salads and desserts, and have been used by Floridians to make a signature jelly for years. In the early 20th century, farmers rubbed the crushed leaves on themselves, and their horses, to repel mosquitoes and biting bugs. Considered a pioneer species, the shrub adapts to most soil types and a wide pH range. Tolerant of fire, the Beautyberry does not thrive in dense foliage or deep shade.