Callicarpa americana L.

  • Family: Verbenaceae
  • Common names: beautyberry, French mulberry
  • Synonym: C. americana var. lactea

    Description: Shrub to 2.5 m (8 ft) tall. Stems scurfy or tomentose. Leaves opposite, ovate to elliptic, to 20 cm (8 in) long and 10 cm (4 in) wide, stellate-scurfy, tapering to petiole at base, acute or acuminate at apex, usually coarsely serrate. Flowers in axillary cymes of many small white to bluish flowers. Fruits in dense axillary clusters of small intensely colored bluish to purple drupes.

    Distribution: Native to southeastern United States and northern Mexico.
    Habitat: forests, fencerows, pine plantations.
    NWI status: FACU
    Comment: The specimens from Cleveland and Tulsa counties may be escapes from cultivation. Callicarpa is derived from the Greek words kallos (beauty) and karpos (fruit); Linnaeus named it americana to distinguish it from the old-world species.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/8/99
    Go to Oklahoma Biological Survey Home Page