The first time I noticed the fruit on this shrub — it was a WOW moment and I looked for a name plate at the botanical garden. Beautyberry. How appropriate.
If you want to find it in the wild look in the forests of the Southeastern US. You may find them as far west as Texas and north into Missouri. In the spring and summer you may miss them. The leaves arrive rather late and the flower — while attractive to butterflies and bees — is often missed by humans.
You won’t miss them from mid-September to early November. The violet to magenta berries are a real attention grabber.
Hungry? Your competition for the berries will be a variety of birds. Deer prefer the leaves or to bed down among a clump of the bushes. While you may not enjoy the taste of a raw berry, it makes a mild jelly. Or — you could take a hint from the Native Americans and use crushed leaves to repel mosquitoes and a tea from root or leaf to comfort a variety of ailments.
Me? I’ll admire. Want to join me?
Beautyberry living up to it’s name.