Beauty Berry Look-a-like

slowpoke49September 23, 2007

I have a plant in my yard that I thought was a Beauty Berry. Same leaves and berries. Except the deer, squirrels and birds will not touch these berries. When I mow the lawn and the gnats are swarming around my face, I can go stand near this plant. The gnats won't come within three feet of this plant. Does anyone know if there is a poisonous type beauty berry?

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There is a japanese beauty berry that has smaller berries (slightly). The leaves are a bit smaller also, but I guess one main difference is that the berries are held in clusters on a stalk about 1/2 inch long, whereas the native one has the berries clustered close around the stem itself.

Both the native one and the japanese one are supposed to have the repellent effect. Look at the section called "uses" at the bottom of the linked page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beautyberry

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 9:31PM
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Slowpoke, you're very observant...makes gardening more fun even with the gnats, huh? I had a patch of the native Callicarpa in my old garden and don't think berries were ever eaten. They usually hung on even after leaves turned yellow in fall,and until we had the first heavy frost.

Esh, thanks for reminding me to check Wikipedia for plant info....I use it constantly for everything else. josh

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 12:47PM
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vicki7(z7 N.Ga.)

I'm glad to see this thread, because this is something I've wondered about. The birds, to my knowledge, have never eaten the berries on my Beautyberry bush. BUT, I've read on websites in the past that Beautyberries attract birds?!? I guess it just goes to show you can't depend on what you read on some of the gardening websites... Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 9:14AM
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Frances Coffill(7b)

It is my experience that birds eat what they like best and leave the rest. If there are a lot of bird feeders (or natural sources of food) in your area your birds may just have found something to eat that they prefer to beauty berry.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 11:11AM
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There is yet another plant that vaguely resembles beautyberry but is stoloniferous. A lady was selling it at the Farmer's Market in Marietta and I told her it was not Callicarpa Americana but I could not identify it. About the birds eating the berries, I have found that it might take years for them to "discover" it but once they do, usually starting with the robins and mockingbirds, the rest will follow suit. I even had a squirrel gnaw off an entire limb and carry it back up into a tree.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 11:42PM
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Hello all, This interests me because my beautyberry here in eastern oklahoma gets the berries eaten off early every fall. I see cedar waxwings some years, titmice most years eating them. I would like to enjoy them longer, but hey, the birds' needs trump mine. I wonder if the stoloniferous plant with berries is the native coralberry, Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, which also has berries circling the stem, but more reddish or coral than the majenta beautyberry.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 11:50PM
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