Trying to identify bush w/ purple berries

imagesofwildlifeNovember 7, 2008

Hello, I have a bush in the back yard - about 6' tall and 6' wide - multiple stems coming out of the ground. Multiple pictures of the berries/leaves can be found out:

This is how the berries look today - November 7th.

Does anyone know what the name of this is?

Thanks - Mark

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Callicarpa americana, American Beautyberry. I just learned that there is also a white native one. There are also oriental ones that have the berries along the stems rather than in clumps as the American does. The flowers are insignificant on them all, but the berries are wonderful.

I was fortunate two years ago to be on a FT near the coast and in the wild saw multitudes of these shrubs in berry mixed with blooming Gordonias. Spectacular!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 7:36PM
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Actually, based on the length of the stem holding the berries, I think you might have japanese beautyberry, not the American one. The American beautyberry holds the berries very close to the stem.

If you could measure the length of the leaf, that might help determine the difference also - the American one has a larger leaf (6-8 inches long) than the japanese one (2 to 4 inches).

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 9:26PM
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You may well be correct, Esh. I checked out my native and the white non-native one, and the leaves seem to fit what you said. However, I also went on line and found a great variation in the size of the native Callicarpa leaves! I also found photos that seemed to show some space between the limb and actual berries, i.e., a slightly longer stem. I guess that is why photos can only do so much. We would need to key it out from an herbarium sample or in life. The small bit of research did give me something to do after dark, since I am not a big TV fan. We have had great weather recently for walking outdoors. I even worked a little by planting a few new things! Unfortunately, I also cut a trillium rhizome in half. Maybe I will be lucky and it will make two of them, the "decapitation" I have read and heard about.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:17PM
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