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CALLICARPA formosana

Image of Callicarpa formosana

John Rickard

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

CALLICARPA formosana

Plant Common Name

Formosa Beautyberry

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Gardeners in warm temperate to subtropical areas can enjoy the deep lavender to pale purple berries in winter on the Formosa beautyberry. A deciduous shrub with an upright, rounded habit, multiple stem trunks are open with arching branches. This shrub is native to the mid-elevations of Japan's Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, southeastern China and northernmost Philippines.

Formosa beautyberry's green leaves are pointed ovals, sometimes oval lances. In mid to late summer, puffy clusters of small pink to faintly lavender flowers occur at leaf bases all along the length of the branches. Bees and butterflies swarm and pollinate the blossoms. By early to late fall, thousands of small, round fruits adorn the pale sandy brown branches. The fruits display more of a purple hue compared to the rosy violet berries seen on other common ornamental beautyberry shrubs. As the leaves turn slightly yellow and drop away in the cooling days of fall, the Formosan beautyberry's fruits become a focal showcase.

Grow this beautyberry in full sun to partial sun in a non-alkaline soil with good drainage. Soils that are evenly moist and enriched with organic matter create the healthiest plants. Use Formosa beautyberry in a mixed shrub border or as an informal screen. Prune back the branches in late winter to rejuvenate the plant, limit its yearly size, and to promote additional branching with a more abundant fruit display.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m

  • Width

    3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia, China, Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Pink, Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    Purple

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • 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

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No