American Beautyberry

Callicarpa americana

''Callicarpa americana'' is an open-habit, native shrub of the Southern United States which is often grown as an ornamental in gardens and yards. American beautyberries produce large clusters of purple berries, which birds and deer eat, thus distributing the seeds.
American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) Growing on a woodland path in Fulton County, Georgia, US.
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/68433/american_beautyberry_callicarpa_americana.html American Beautyberry,Callicarpa americana,Fall,Geotagged,United States

Appearance

Plants with white berries are found in cultivation under the name ''Callicarpa americana'' var. ''lactea''; not all authorities recognize this as a distinct variety .
Callicarpa americana berries closeup, Heesch, Netherlands Cultivated, in our garden. Described as the berries ripening from September to October, but still going strong in December, probably due to a mild winter. We regularly see Common Blackbirds feeding on it. American Beautyberry,Callicarpa americana,Laowa

Distribution

The native range of ''C. americana'' extends from Maryland to Florida, west to Texas and Arkansas, and also Mexico, Bermuda, the Bahamas and Cuba.
American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) Growing on a woodland path in Fulton County, Georgia, US.
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/68434/american_beautyberry_callicarpa_americana.html American Beautyberry,Callicarpa americana,Fall,Geotagged,United States

Uses

The raw berries, while palatably sweet, are suitable for human consumption only in small amounts, because they are astringent; they are also used in jellies. The roots are used to make herbal tea. As a folk remedy it has been claimed that "fresh, crushed leaves of American beautyberry, ''Callicarpa americana'' . . . helped keep biting insects away from animals such as horses and mules." An isolated plant compound, callicarpenal, has reportedly been proven effective in tests as a mosquito repellent.

The berries ripen in September through October and are a favorite among wild bird species including cardinals, mockingbirds, finches, woodpeckers and more. Beautyberry is commonly planted in landscape designs to attract wildlife because of the food source the berries provide and the cover animals get from the shrub itself.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderLamiales
FamilyLamiaceae
GenusCallicarpa
SpeciesC. americana