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CALLICARPA dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'

Image of Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

CALLICARPA dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'

Plant Common Name

Purple Beautyberry

General Description

The ever popular beautyberry, 'Early Amethyst', is an extra fruitful Arnold Arboretum introduction that boasts a tidy habit, beautifully arching branches and loads of colorful fruit. Summer clusters of pale lavender-pink flowers develop into masses of glossy amethyst berries in fall. The fruits tend to persist longer than average offering welcome, though limited, winter interest.

Asian in origin, Callicarpa dichotoma is a compact to medium-sized deciduous shrub with an elegant, arching habit. Its elliptical green leaves line the stem opposite one another. In summer, clusters of lavender flowers appear and the base of each leaf petiole like soldiers in a row. Bees and butterflies are highly attracted to the blooms and the clusters of green berries that follow mature to vibrant violet-purple in fall.

Purple beautyberry flowers and fruits best in full to partial sun, though it will tolerate partial shade. It is fairly adaptable to different soil types, but fertile soil with good drainage is preferred. The natural habit of purple beautyberry is very pleasing, so never try to sculpt or shear this shrub. Just selectively prune back branches as needed. Fruiting and blooming occurs on new growth. Bright mixed shrub borders and foundation plantings are ideal locations for this highly landscape-worthy shrub.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    China, Japan, Korea

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    White, Purple, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Purple, Yellow Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No