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American Beautyberry
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae[1]
Genus: Callicarpa
Species: C. americana
Binomial name
Callicarpa americana

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is an open-habit, native shrub of the Southern United States which is often grown as an ornamental in gardens and yards. American beautyberries produce large clusters of purple berries, which birds and deer eat, thus distributing the seeds.



The raw berries, while palatably sweet, are suitable for human consumption only in small amounts, because they are astringent; they are also used in jellies. The roots are used to make herbal tea. As a folk remedy it has been claimed that "fresh, crushed leaves of American beautyberry, Callicarpa americana . . . helped keep biting insects away from animals such as horses and mules." An isolated plant compound, callicarpenal, has reportedly been proven effective in tests as a mosquito repellent.[2]


The native range of C. americana extends from Maryland to Florida, west to Texas and Arkansas, and also Mexico, Bermuda, the Bahamas and Cuba.[3]


American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). Closeup photo taken 10-30-2008, North Carolina.

Plants with white berries are found in cultivation under the name Callicarpa americana var. lactea;[4][5][3] not all authorities recognize this as a distinct variety (in the sense of the botanical rank below subspecies).[6]


External links



Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Callicarpa americana


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids I
Ordo: Lamiales
Familia: Verbenaceae
Genus: Callicarpa
Species Callicarpa americana


Callicarpa americana L.


  • Species Plantarum 1:111. 1753
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Callicarpa americana on Wikimedia Commons.


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