Monday, June 29, 2009

October Flower of the Month

October Flower of the Month

Callicarpa bodinieri
Zones 1-9
Beautyberry Art

The flowers are tiny, shaped in tiny clusters of Lilac

The berries that follow the flowers in late Fall are Magenta and hang on the bare branches

The Beautyberry is a very unusual shrub, full of pale green leaves and tiny little lilac flowers in late summer only an inch wide and so small you hardly notice them. The best part comes in the late Fall when all the leaves are gone and the branches are bare except clusters of bright Magenta berries all over them! The Beautyberry likes full sun, you may want to plant it near a tall fence so it is protected from the wind. The berries are very long lasting, up to 2-3 weeks and liven up your garden in late Fall. You may want to use mulch the first season at the base of your Beautyberry to help protect it. When they start to grow you may also want to stake them for support, as they can grow up to 5 feet tall! It will take at least a growing season or two before your Beautyberry produces its flowers and wonderful berries so be patient. In very cold areas the shrub dies back to the ground but comes back up in the Spring. In warmer areas the Beautyberry will remain all year long, once your Beautyberry has produced berries for the first time, be sure to prune it (ask for help to do this) below where the berries were because it needs new growth in Spring to produce more for next time!