Beautyberry Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion'
Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion', commonly known as Beautyberry, is a deciduous shrub renowned for its striking purple berries. This plant presents a graceful, arching habit with opposite, simple leaves that are ovate to lanceolate in shape. The foliage displays a light green hue, which can turn to shades of yellow or purple before falling in autumn. One of the most captivating features of Beautyberry is its dense clusters of small lilac flowers that bloom prolifically along the stems at the leaf axils in summer. These blossoms are relatively inconspicuous compared to the vibrant fruit that follows. As summer wanes, the flowers give way to the plant's signature ornamental feature: the profusion of glossy, metallic, vivid purple berries that densely encircle the stems. These eye-catching berries last well into the winter, even after the leaves have dropped, providing a stunning visual interest in the garden during the colder months. The berries are also cherished by various bird species, making Beautyberry a beneficial addition to wildlife gardens. The stem structure is somewhat open, creating an airy appearance during the growing season and adding a delicate, fine texture in winter when the branches are bare. Overall, the visual appeal of Beautyberry throughout the year makes it a popular choice for gardeners seeking to add color and character to their landscape.
About this plant
Beautyberry, Bodinier's Beautyberry, Profusion Beautyberry
Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion'.
Beautyberry, the common name for Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion', is not typically toxic to humans. However, it is always advisable to exercise caution and avoid ingesting any part of ornamental plants as their edibility and safety profiles are often not well-established. If ingested in large quantities, it could potentially cause mild stomach upset, although significant toxicity is rarely reported.
Beautyberry, when it comes to pets such as cats and dogs, is not commonly listed as a toxic plant. That being said, ingestion of plant material by pets can occasionally lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, including vomiting and diarrhea, primarily if they consume large quantities. While not considered highly toxic, it is best to prevent pets from consuming ornamental plants to avoid any potential adverse effects.
Color of leaves
6-10 feet (1.8-3 meters)
4-8 feet (1.2-2.4 meters)
- General Benefits
- Aesthetic Appeal: Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion', commonly known as Beautyberry, is valued for its striking purple berries that provide visual interest in the garden, especially in the fall and winter months.
- Habitat Provider: The berries serve as a food source for various bird species, supporting biodiversity.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, Beautyberry is relatively drought-tolerant, requiring minimal watering and making it suitable for xeriscaping.
- Ease of Care: This plant is known for being low maintenance, requiring little pruning and being generally pest and disease-free.
- Fast Growth: Beautyberry tends to grow quickly, allowing gardeners to enjoy its benefits in a relatively short amount of time.
- Fall Interest: The vibrant berry display and attractive foliage provide fall color when many other plants are losing their luster.
- Wildlife Attraction: In addition to birds, Beautyberry can attract beneficial insects and pollinators to the garden.
- Year-Round Interest: With its changing visual appeal across seasons—from flowers in spring to berries in autumn and leafless silhouettes in winter—Beautyberry holds interest throughout the year.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Photography: The vibrant purple berries make Callicarpa or Beautyberry a popular subject for photographers, especially in autumn.
- Floral Arrangements: Its striking berries and foliage are often used in floral arrangements, especially during the fall season for a pop of color.
- Crafts: The branches with berries are used in wreath-making and other decorative crafts for home décor.
- Dye Production: Although not commonly used, the berries can theoretically be used to produce natural dyes for fabrics or art projects.
- Insect Repellent: Some people crush the leaves of Beautyberry to release chemicals that may help repel insects.
- Garden Design: Beautyberry can be used as a natural hedge or border in garden designs due to its dense and rounded growth habit.
- Bird Habitat: The dense foliage provides excellent shelter and nesting opportunities for various bird species.
- Teaching Tool: It is sometimes used in educational settings to teach about plant propagation and berry development.
- Fish Poison: Historically, some cultures have used the berries as a fish poison to stun fish, making them easier to catch.
- Winter Interest: The persistent berries provide visual interest in winter landscapes after most other plants have lost their leaves.
- Feng Shui
The Beautyberry is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Beautyberry is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Beauty: The 'Profusion' variant of Beautyberry, with its vibrant purple berries and lush foliage, symbolizes natural beauty and aesthetic appeal.
- Abundance: Its name 'Profusion' suggests plenty and wealth, as the plant produces copious clusters of berries, symbolizing an abundance of blessings or resources.
- Protection: In some cultures, it is believed that the Beautyberry possesses protective qualities, possibly because it can repel certain pests in the garden, translating this into a symbolic meaning of safeguarding what one values.
Beautyberry should be watered deeply once a week during its first growing season to help establish a robust root system. After its establishment period, it's sufficiently drought tolerant and will only require additional watering during prolonged dry spells. A good guideline is to provide about 1 to 1.5 inches of water weekly, which equates to approximately 0.6 to 0.9 gallons for a newly planted shrub. When watering, aim to moisten the soil around the root zone rather than the foliage to minimize the risk of fungal diseases.
Beautyberry thrives best in full sun to partial shade. It should be planted in a location where it can receive at least four to six hours of direct sunlight daily, with dappled light or shade during the hottest part of the afternoon. This balance will promote the most prolific berry production and vibrant foliage color.
Beautyberry plants are adaptable but prefer a temperate climate. Ideal growing conditions fall between 60°F and 85°F. However, they can withstand winter temperatures down to about 0°F, and summer temperatures up to around 100°F without significant damage as long as their other care needs are met.
Beautyberry should be pruned in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. This pruning can be quite hard since the plant flowers and fruits on new growth; cut back to within a few inches of the ground. Pruning encourages bushy growth, rejuvenates the plant, and ensures prolific berry production in the fall. Annual pruning is recommended for the healthiest and most aesthetically pleasing shrub.
Beautyberry requires well-draining soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. A good mix would include garden soil, compost, and perlite or sand to ensure drainage.
Beautyberry plants don’t need frequent repotting and can be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when they outgrow their current pots.
- Humidity & Misting
Beautyberry thrives in moderate humidity, so average ambient humidity is typically sufficient for this plant.
- Suitable locations
Place in bright indirect light, maintain moderate humidity, and use well-draining soil.
Full sun to partial shade, well-draining soil, moderate watering.
- Life cycle
The life cycle of the Beautyberry 'Profusion' (Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion') begins with seed germination, which occurs when conditions are optimal - usually in spring. The seedlings establish roots and shoots, growing rapidly under favorable conditions with adequate moisture and sunlight. As the plant enters the vegetative stage, it develops a woody framework and foliage, reaching maturity in a few years. During the reproductive stage, which typically occurs in summer, the plant produces clusters of small, light pink flowers, which are highly attractive to pollinators. Following pollination, the flowers give way to the plant's distinctive metallic purple berries in the fall, which remain on the shrub after the leaves have fallen, providing winter interest. As a perennial shrub, Beautyberry 'Profusion' will enter a period of dormancy during the winter, resuming growth in the following spring, and can continue this annual cycle for many years.
Propogation: The most popular method of propagating Beautyberry (Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion') is through softwood cuttings. This technique is usually performed in late spring or early summer when new growth is still flexible. To propagate, choose a healthy, non-flowering stem and cut a segment about 4 to 6 inches (about 10 to 15 cm) in length. The cut should be made just below a leaf node, and the lower leaves should be removed, leaving two or three pairs at the top of the cutting. The stem is then dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development and planted in a well-draining propagation medium. The environment should be kept humid and warm, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21 degrees Celsius), and the cuttings should be kept moist but not waterlogged until roots have established, after which they can be transferred to individual pots or a garden setting.