This time of year I don’t think that there’s any question we get asked more frequently. That bush, of which there are three planted near the store entry, is called Beautyberry (Callicarpa bodinieri). We first noticed this plant many years ago growing in a botanical garden on Long Island (planted next to a grouping of plain grasses and ugly shrubs). We were all taken with the beauty of it’s berries and wondered why we hadn’t seen it before. Perhaps it was only available on the east coast at the time. A few years later, it began showing up in grower catalogs and since then has become one of the area’s favorite shrubs.
The Beautyberry grows 6 to 10 feet tall (we keep ours pruned to around 3 or 4 feet) with gracefully recurving branches. The 4inch long leaves turn pink to purple before dropping in the fall. It has 1 inch wide flower clusters which are followed by small violet fruit that last well into winter. All they need is sun and average water.