The Beautyberry Bush is one of the most unique and gorgeous ornamentals available in the landscape throughout a wide range of growing zones and climates! There are currently about 165 varieties of Callicarpa around the world and the American Beautyberry is our local native shrub!
A lovely deciduous bush, they feature long, arching branches of lush green, pointed foliage. Highlighted by frothy pink blossoms that crown the tops of each branch. These will be smothered in pollinators and bees all spring into summer as they bloom from the base up to the tips in succession.
By mid-summer you’ll see clusters of green berries forming close to the stem and surrounding each pair of leaves, turning a glorious purple with a satiny sheen by late summer. Enjoy the long-lasting bloom and berry color, holding steady through the fall and clinging through winter for the birds to eat!
What you may not have known about these great shrubs is that the berries are a tasty treat as well as eye-catching gems in the garden! While not the best tasting raw, in fact, they can be either tasteless or medicinal in flavor, once cooked they add a unique flavor to jam, jelly, dried for tea, or made into syrup! All with the gorgeous rosy pink hue!
Here we’ve made some lovely Beautyberry Jelly with the juice from this delightful fruit. Just as beautiful as the berries, the rosy-pink jelly is lovely to spread over toast or crackers, or as syrup to pour over desserts and pancakes! Plus, it’s as easy to make as any other Jelly out there!
With a sweet, mild flavor that’s reminiscent of elderberry, rose-petal jam, and a bit lemony, you’ll love this garden treat for you and your family, or to present as unique gifts!
This is a great activity to do with the kids! Since the fruit easily rolls off the stems and without staining fingers. Just hold the bowl under each branch and gently roll the clusters between your fingers to release them! The ripe berries quickly fill a bowl and just 15 minutes of gathering yielded a quart of berries.
Harvest the darkest purple fruit that has the fewest white or green berries in each cluster. Leave those clusters until later when they ripen in another week or so. There will be a few white ones where the sun didn’t reach and color them up, this is fine.
This recipe made four 8 ounce canning jars. For the syrup - follow the above steps, just omit the pectin.
They also freeze very well so you can store your bounty of Beauty berries for later use or even dry them for tea! Just remember to leave some for the birds this winter!
So head over to NatureHills.com and get your beautiful Beautyberry Bush and beautify your landscape and pantry today!
Gather from untreated, unpolluted shrubs, away from a road, and away from pesticides or other contaminants. You should not consume a plant unless you’re 100% certain it’s an identified and edible species. And, even if a plant or berry is edible, unfortunately, are not any guarantees that you do not have a unique allergy. Sample a small amount of any new item then wait for 48 hours before trying more, just in case you do have a reaction.