Beautyberry Is Showing Its Fruit Now

A mass of blueberry shrubs used in a foundation planting

A mass of blueberry shrubs used in a foundation planting

Native beautyberry with is purple fruits are coloring now.

Native beautyberry with its purple fruit are coloring now.

This is one of the most nondescript spring and summer plants I know. But when fall starts rolling around, its round clusters of purple berries look like purple kabobs on a stick. In fact, when the leaves fall off, their display has a very unique look. Now this is not a real tame native plant. I have see them six feet tall and equally as wide. But here is the good thing, they do not mind being pruned. While some folks prune it like the one above, I prefer to prune them in winter and spring before they bloom and set fruit. There is also a white selection, Bok Tower, that is my favorite, but it is not showing its color quite yet. While this is the native one, there are several other species that have smaller clusters of fruit and can be seen in the Hulsey Woods at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. I guess I am old fashioned, but I like both the native purple ones or white ones. Now these plant come easily from seeds, and typically they are spread by birds. If you do not cut the fruit and the berries drop, expect seedlings in the spring. Both the purple one and white selection come true from seeds. But, as beautiful fruiting deciduous shrubs, they are the best purple and white fruits of fall.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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