Sunday, October 17, 2010

Beauty Cream

Beautyberry is a common native plant in our area. This time of year, you can see its clusters of bright purple berries lined up along  straight stems.




Recently we discovered this variation with cream colored berries.



Callicarpa americana is the formal name for our native beautyberry. It was reported by William Bartram that the native people in the southeast were growing it as crops when he passed through in the 1740’s. They used all parts of the plants for a variety of uses, including dyes, mosquito repellent, medicines, fish poison and for ceremonial purposes.

As we researched, we found two varieties of  beautyberry with a creamy white fruit but we do not know if this particular one is a native americana lactea or the hybrid. “Lactea” means “milky.”

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