The Beauty of Beautyberry

Jul 11, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The USDA NRCS Plant Guide is one of my favorite places to find out neat stuff about native plants. Their page on beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, tells us that this plant is adapted to dry or moist open woods in areas with hot, humid summers and moderate winters. No wonder it was especially prevalent in the zoo portion at Brookgreen Gardens when we visited recently. The small clusters of flowers give no indication of the fabulous clusters of shiny purple-pink flowers that will follows. I stared and stared at the axillary clusters of flowers as we walked the zoo path and saw only one pollinator, maybe it already too hot. Not surprisinfor such small flowers, the insect working them was a tiny bee whose tongue, no doubt, was just the right size to reach into the nectar rich but diminutive blossoms.