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Garden Critique: American Beautyberry

Updated on February 5, 2015

American Beautyberry Shrub

Source
The American Beautyberry has attractive green foliage which turns yellow in the fall.
The American Beautyberry has attractive green foliage which turns yellow in the fall. | Source

We have had a native American Beautyberry in our Certified Backyard Habitat for years. It is a deciduous shrub that provides nectar to the bees in spring and food to the birds in autumn. If you are in the United States and garden for nature, I highly recommend this plant for your habitat.

The shrub’s airy, light lavender blooms attract bees in masses who steal its sweet nectar. In the fall, it produces bright purple seeds to the delight of the birds. Each autumn in our garden, the shrub is covered in birds devouring the seeds from morning to night.

Plant the shrub in the spring or fall so that it may have adequate time to establish itself before extreme weather begins. It prefers light shade and very well-drained soil. Beautyberry shrubs desire at least one inch of rain each week but can withstand short periods of drought. The shrub has very little pest problems and does not really need pruning. It is an all-around great addition to most gardens.

Birds love to consume the bright purple seeds of the American Beautyberry.
Birds love to consume the bright purple seeds of the American Beautyberry. | Source

Importance of Native Plants

Plants that are native to a particular region are vital to the support of local ecosystems. They provide food and shelter for insects and animals indigenous to the area they inhabit. Native plants will survive droughts, insects, and most anything that is a normal occurrence in its region.

Such plants do not have to be dull and boring. For example, the beautiful purple coneflower or black-eyed susan. Our habitat has both of these plus columbine and bee balm. All have provided a showy display for humans and food for animals and insects.

Native purple coneflower with moth drinking its nectar.
Native purple coneflower with moth drinking its nectar. | Source
Black-eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan | Source

Gardening with Natives

About the Author

Catherine Dean is a freelance writer, gardener, quilter, and blogger. Her professional background includes nonprofit program development, grant writing, and volunteer management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Georgia College & State University.

Her blog, Sowing A Simple Harvest, chronicles a modern couple trying to live a simplistic, sustainable life. To explore Catherine's professional credentials, visit her website. She can also be followed on Google+.

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    • mvillecat profile image
      Author

      Catherine Dean 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      Yes, it is Radcliff. It is a native to the southeast. It is a great addition to the garden. Thanks for commenting.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 5 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Beautiful photos. I think beautyberry is native here in Florida. I often see it growing in the wild. I love simple plants that add a little bit of color to the garden.

    • mvillecat profile image
      Author

      Catherine Dean 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      Oh, I hope it does too. We lost one due to drought a few years ago. Thanks for commenting!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Beautyberries are so beautiful they don't even look real. We planted one last year. The hot summer was really hard on it, but I'm hoping it lives. Enjoyed your hub!

    • mvillecat profile image
      Author

      Catherine Dean 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      I really love it too, Glimmer. You do not have to babysit it at all. Thanks for commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Love this shrub and it's been on my list to plant in my garden. Thanks for the information.

    • mvillecat profile image
      Author

      Catherine Dean 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      Thanks Carol! I am looking forward to cooler weather to enjoy it more. Thanks for commenting.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I love reading gardening hubs, maybe because I am such a dud in the garden. Lovely pictures and great information. Voting UP.

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