Color Me Disappointed
Nearly all the time, when I create a blog, it is the result of research. I’m learning new things, right along with you. Tonight I learned that the bushes I am pleased with – being beautiful and native, are actually not native. Well, that certainly is a surprise!
The Impostor Revealed
The telling detail which revealed the impostor to me, is the berry clusters that are held on stems away from the main stem. In the native, American Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, the berries are grouped in clusters right on the main stem, looking like poufs on a French poodle. All these photographs are of my Purple Beautyberry, Callicarpa dichotoma, native to the Far East. In any event, these beautiful bushes provide the same sustenance to wildlife that the natives do.
In the spring, the Beautyberry bush is covered with diminutive, purply-pink flowers which attract many bees and butterflies. Being so small the flowers create a soft wash of pink, over the green of the shrubs.
Those bees and butterflies are happy to have the blossoms, and I’m happy that they get attracted to my gardens.
Apple Green Berries
As the summer marches on, the flowers fade and turn to tiny apple green berries.
And The Beauty Of The Berry
By early October, the apple green berries have turned into glowing magenta clusters of fruit.
For Emergency Only
Song birds put off eating the Beautyberries until there is nothing left to eat. Perhaps these berries are the Brussels sprouts of the bird world. Once they are faced with nothing but the Beautyberries, they will flock to the bushes and eat every single morsel.
Once snow covers everything, and all the dogwood berries, spicebush berries, and sumac berries are gone, the songbirds are happy that I’ve planted Beautyberry bushes for them!