Content Detail

Purple beautyberry is a small shrub with finely textured leaves that turn shades of yellow and purple in the fall. It is grown for its unusual, bright lilac-colored fall berries borne in dense clusters along the graceful arching stems. When planted en masse, it is particularly attractive for fall interest in the landscape.

  • Family (English) Vervain
  • Family (botanic) Verbanaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), Small shrub (3-5 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Pink
  • Shape or form Arching, Mounded, Multi-stemmed, Round
  • Growth rate Fast

Size & Form:

 A small, 3 to 4 feet high shrub for the front of the border. Most effective when planted in groups for best cross-pollination and landscape impact.

Native geographic location and habitat:

Purple beautyberry is native to China, Korea, and Japan.

Bark color and texture:

Slender, gray-brown arching stems are tinged purple.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

The opposite leaves are 2 to 4 inches long and elliptical. Color is blue-green in summer changing to yellow in fall, contrasting nicely with purple berries.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Small, delicate pink to white flowers in clusters in the axil of the leaves on new wood.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Beautiful, bright, lavender-purple berries are produced along the stems in late summer.

Plant care:

In colder climates plants may die back to the ground in winter. Plant in a protected site out of wind. Prune off dead branches in early spring. Purple beautyberry performs best in full sun to light shade in moist, well-drained soils.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

No serious problems

Early Amethyst beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’):

An upright, 3 to 4 foot high by 4 to 5 foot wide shrub with small purple berries.

Issai beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Issai’):

A rounded, 3 to 4 foot high and wide shrub with abundant, violet-blue berries. One of the hardier cultivars.


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