Pretty in Pink

beautyberry

Or “Fascinating in Fuscia” maybe? Either way, Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, is a show stopper when it’s in fruit. The berries are somewhat edible by humans (but they are astringent), and several parts of the plant have medicinal uses. Birds, though love those berries, which are a good late-summer energy source both for migrating birds and those that plan to spend the winter months with us. This one was photographed in a flower bed, where a bright color like this might not be so surprising. In forest clearings and edges, the intensity of the color is unexpected. “Is this an escape?” I am often asked. Not at all! Beautyberry is just a very showy native plant.

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