This time of year you can easily spot this beautiful native Texas plant because of the almost surreal magenta color of its prolific berries…thus the name!  American Beautyberry—Callicarpa americana also commonly called French Mulberry is an understory shrub that grows in many of the various woodland areas in Texas.  The particular specimen pictured is growing under and alongside Texas Persimmon and Live Oak trees along River Road here in New Braunfels.

This is a large shrub that grows easily in shady areas but will take some sun.  Its growth habit is wide and arching almost weeping. The branches once in berries will be weighed down and weep even more.  It doesn’t really like to be hedged so if you plan to include one in your landscape give it lots of room to spread out and arch.

The strikingly beautiful berries will last all winter if not devoured by hungry birds that love to feast on them.  The American Beautyberry blooms early spring with small, white clusters of blooms.  There is also a white berried variety available but it tends to be less vigorous and showy as the purple variety. 

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