Food explorer, seed & soil geek, duck evangelist, writer, health nut, and entrepreneur. Thanks so much it was wonderful reading about this beauty! It grows in forested areas and disturbed locations such as along fences and at the edge of preserves. As a mid-stage succession plant, they don’t grow well in full shade, such as under the canopy of large trees. We checked on a nearby native passionfruit patch, which was loaded with fruit and flowers, showing very little stress. Generally, these shrub species develop a rounded shape with long, arching branches and light green foliage. The American Beautyberry is an extraordinary shrub. Berry clusters should be completely purple when picked, which means beautyberry picking season starts in October where we live (Greenville, SC / Ag zone 7b). Beautyberry bush. Growing Beautyberry Shrubs. This fast-growing shrub is native to the central and southeastern United States, as well as the Caribbean and northern Mexico. American beautyberries (Callicarpa americana) beginning to ripen from green to purple in late summer in South Carolina. This is also the largest of the beautyberries, reaching 6 to 8 feet tall with an equal spread. That’s why birds such as cardinals, woodpeckers, and mockingbirds, eat beautyberries throughout the winter. 0 0. Keep watered through summer. Do your ducks every get to enjoy beautyberries? A jar of pure beautyberry juice ready for the fridge and future beautyberry recipes! Even if your ducks don’t like them, you’ll have berries for yourself and leaves you can use as a mosquito repellent. I don't know about mosquitoes and ticks but I can tell you that they don't keep flies out of your yard. Looking for a BeautyBerry Bush. The beautyberry bush, known scientifically as Callicarpa, grows to a height of between one and four meters and produces beautiful clusters of small, violet-colored fruits known as beauty berries. We actually identified naturally occurring chemicals in the plant responsible for this activity.” Three repellent chemicals were extracted during the 12-month study: callicarpenal, intermedeol … She nibbled a few and exclaimed, “wow, those are really unique!” Indeed. I have a relatively large beauty berry bush and way to many flies. Larger pan on bottom with water in it. I did not know about the leaves working as a mosquito repellant. Alternate Names American beautyberry is also known as French mulberry, sourbush, bunchberry, or purple beauty-berry. Beautyberry tea is quite simple to make. Article by Trail Shade ~~<3. Cut 6-8″ stems from mature beautyberry plants in the late winter ~6-8 weeks before the plant has broken dormancy. First strain – Strain through metal pasta strainer to remove seeds and skin. Beautyberries are also a host plant for native moth species and make an ideal overwintering habitat for other insect species. Beautyberry, sometimes referred to as beauty berry (with a space), is a small, violet-colored fruit growing on the beautyberry bush. Beautyberry Bush. have very high fiber content (if eaten raw with seeds and skin). the american beauty berry is absolutely the hardest plant on my ranch to control. Sometimes deer bed down in the beautyberry bushes, which brings up another subject: the plant's ability to repel insects. About 50 yards away: the spot we go to get beautyberries each fall. contain high levels of beneficial antioxidant compounds, which give them their purple color. In the early 1900s, farmers crushed the leaves and placed them under the harnesses of horses to repel mosquitoes. We had virtually no rain for 8 weeks, and temperatures stayed in the low-mid 90s throughout the drought. Please be sure to subscribe to Tyrant Farms to see what's in-season out in nature, have fresh seasonal recipes delivered to your inbox and get helpful organic/permaculture gardening & duck keeping tips. We were simply sharing the research findings. Beautyberry honey jello makes a colorful, tasty seasonal dessert. beautyberry, beautyberry gelatin, beautyberry jello, beautyberry recipe, beautyberry juice (make using instructions from above), Bt dunks to keep mosquitos out of our yard, hibiscus roselle tea (from Hibiscus sabdariffa), How to grow American groundnuts in your garden, Potted citrus garden video tour (Zone 7b), Recipe: Sugar-free persimmon cranberry relish. The farmers rubbed the crushed leaves on themselves to repel mosquitoes and … The Gardens of Bunny Mellon, Mosquitoes, Beautyberry, Pumpkins, etc. We’ve never offered our flock beautyberries, but that’s a great idea. “American Beautyberry, sometimes called French Mulberry, Callicarpa americana is a US native deciduous shrub that grows wild from Maryland to Florida and west through Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas. American Beautyberry is a fast-growing North American native shrub with fragrant foliage that produces abundant clusters of pearl-like, bright purple berries in fall that persist through winter. Rich, well-draining soil is ideal, but here again, the plant is versatile and can grow in a wide variety of soil types and conditions. Last summer, we were curious how the native wild edible plants in our area would fare under brutally hot and dry conditions. As mentioned earlier, beautyberry tea tastes almost identical to hibiscus tea: tangy and citrusy. Send questions to or visit for more information. Heat 1/2 cup beautyberry juice (using our concentrated beautyberry juice recipe from above) with 1/2 cup water. Can I dig some up and transplant it? All that beautiful color stays in the final juice when you strain them. It is a … All rights reserved. Move to the next branch and continue. They’re also commonly found at local nurseries if you want to get an older plant. The Wilderness Survival subreddit. Either way, beautyberries are a great plant to have in your yard. It had about 80% the efficacy of DEET, when equal amounts of both were tested. we mow it down with mower which gives a few weeks for the … Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, proven insect repellant! I have a Beautyberry bush in my back yard, I will have to give the leaves a try for the mosquitoes. A: The only plant I know that grows in woods, or natural areas on the Treasure Coast with purple fruit this time of year held in clusters around the branch stems is American Beautyberry known as Callicarpa americana to scientists and horticulturists. Aaron is the former farm manager at Oak Hill Cafe & Farm, a no-till, permaculture, farm-to-table restaurant & farm located right down the street from his alma mater, Furman University, in Greenville, SC. While there’s no available data we’ve seen on beautyberry nutrition, our guess — based on the berries’ flavor and color — is that beautyberries: You can use your concentrated beautyberry juice (using instructions above) as a base for all sorts of beautyberry recipes, such as: I’m happily drinking a cup of beautyberry tea as I write! “The beautyberry plant and its ability to repel mosquitoes is an exception. I read through many recipes for bug … When plating for screening purposes, mass planting, or border planting, proper spacing is important for the health and longevity of your plant. If you come up with a good solution in the meantime, please let us know! This information comes courtesy of USDA researchers. Aaron also writes for Edible Upcountry Magazine, WordPress (.com), Daily Harvest Express, and other food and tech-related organizations. Though we skipped grazing the wild garlic in order not to make our breath offensive, we sampled the other edibles. The USDA Says this one is naturally insect repellent so plant it near outdoor … American Beautyberry Bush: Insect Repellant, Fire Ant Deterrent, Delicious Jellies and Wines, and a Cure for Rheumatism, Colic and More! We hope you enjoy this delightful native plant! From the same plant? Beautyberry insect repellent recipes – effective against mosquitos, fire ants, and ticks The 5 Absolute Best Beautyberry Insect Repellent Recipes: Crush beautyberry leaves in your hand and rub them on yourself. The shrub, with an open loose habit, is classified in the mint family. We seldom see them growing wild in our area, but they’re a very popular local landscape plant due to: Beautyberries mature to about 5′ tall x 5′ wide, but we’ll occasionally see them growing to larger sizes in ideal conditions. Your beautyberries will lose their color as you cook them. The berries hold well into the winter, making a delicious treat for birds. I saw the plant on a walk in the woods near my house. We like PerfectGel Platinum Gelatin sheets, which is the only platinum level gelatin product available in the US. Seeds should germinate within 2-3 weeks. Inside each small purple beautyberry, you’ll find about four small yellow seeds. No, this isn’t just a folk remedy. The first strain removes the beautyberry pulp and seeds. In a garden setting, beautyberry prefers moist, well-drained soils with a fair amount of organic matter present. You’d probably want to blend the leaves with some water, strain them out, then add melted coconut oil (or something similar) to the extract to create something of a lotion. Folks in the Mississippi hill country would cut the leafy branches, crush the leaves, and then place the branches between the harness and the horse to keep deerflies, horseflies, and mosquitoes away. I found in several historical books that it was used by the Native Americans to repel mosquitoes. It has a moderate to fast growth rate, gaining around 1 to 2 feet per year until it is mature. Native plants tend to have long-established, mutually beneficial relationships with native animals. Beautyberry: Jelly on a Roll - Eat The Weeds and other things, too. Because beautyberry blooms on new growth, you don’t need to worry about accidentally pruning off flower buds in the fall. Even though the berries aren’t ripe, the leaves are in perfect shape for using as a mosquito and tick deterrent. The deciduous Perennial comes alive in April with toothed green foliage. It is easily found in those which specialize in native and low-maintenance selections. Under midday heat and sun the beautyberries’ leaves looked slightly limp, but the plants were still loaded with berries, which looked just as large and abundant as they would under more normal weather conditions. There are over 140 species of the Callicarpa. Jams, Jellies... & Mosquito Repellant? Several years ago, scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's research division isolated beautyberry compounds effective in repelling biting insects. Add gelatin/beautyberry juice mix. their attractive showy berries which stay on the plant through winter, long after the leaves have dropped. Boy, was I wrong. In the wild, this shrub grows along the edges of woodland areas. From late spring through early summer, beautyberry plants are covered in small clusters of inconspicuous flowers ranging in color from white to pink to purple. It has a 230 bloom (the highest bloom strength available). The plants prefer full sun, but can tolerate part shade. American beautyberry: Callicarpa americana is one of the showiest beautyberries because of its especially large magenta-purple berries that wrap tightly around the branch like beaded bracelets. The USDA claims its insecticidal properties are also worthy of mention as mosquitoes, ants, and other pesky critters absolutely hate an extractive coined ‘callicarpenol’ that’s been rendered from it. Mix 3/4 cup beautyberry juice + honey (to taste) in sauce pan on double boiler. In short: yes, beautyberries are very drought tolerant. Great and informative article. However, we will teach you exactly how to make a good beautyberry jello recipe! Q: What is the plant I see with the purple berries in clusters. Almost exactly like hibiscus roselle tea (from Hibiscus sabdariffa). The wild shrub known as American Beauty Berry, Callicarpa americana may just prove to be the safe and natural alternative. in the June 2019 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine Cut gelatin strips into 1" pieces and place in bowl. Then, in July it produces small white and pink flowers in clusters. A simple, tasty jello recipe made with native beautyberries and honey. Ripe beautyberries in our harvest basket. The only reason we don’t grow beautyberries in our yarden is because we have limited space and there are spots where we can get all the beautyberries we want or need within a few miles of our home. Yes, we’re talking about NATIVE BEAUTYBERRY. All Rights Reserved. Occasionally, when a spot of land is to be developed, relocating plants in harms way is a good thing. This plant has long been used by various indigenous peoples and early settlers for medicinal properties and for mosquito repellent. Beautyberry tea looks and tastes almost identical to hibiscus tea made from Hibiscus sabdariffa calyxes. One of the best ornamental fruiting shrubs, Callicarpa bodinieri var. If planted in the proper soil, beautyberry typically does not require fertilization. Best Insect Repellent Roll Eat Neem Oil Wild Edibles Jelly Recipes Medicinal Plants Native Plants … Purple beautyberry (C. dichotoma) is slightly smaller in stature. document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "ac82f68764f32ef1ac4112d9a6d2752c" );document.getElementById("d4b1760014").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read our blog! However, note that you should use the leaves of the plant, not the berries, if you’re going for an insect repellent. Beautyberry bushes, scientifically known as Callicarpa, are very interesting and attractive shrubs desired for the abundant clusters of brightly colored, pearl-like berries that form on the bush during fall and … Due to the open habit of Beautyberry it is best planted in less formal landscapes as it does not take to shearing. Granny Cloud would occasionally put a ground or air layer on a plant, but she said only one so not to stress the plant and of course permission from the landowner was and is necessary. 316. Excerpt: “Traditional folklore remedies many times are found to lead nowhere following scientific research,” he [Charles Cantrell, an ARS chemist in Oxford] continued. The deciduous Perennial comes alive in April with toothed green foliage. Recent research has found the leaves of Beautyberry do indeed harbor an effective mosquito repellent. Callicarpa americana, the American beautyberry, is an open-habitat, 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. Hi CJ! For whatever reason, you might prefer using some other kind of alcohol besides … However, for the sake of this article, we’re specifically referring to American beautyberries (Callicarpa americana). We’ve never used the beautyberry plant as an insect repellent, so we didn’t want to provide instructions given our lack of knowledge/experience on the topic. Privacy Policy. The berries make great jelly, too. Beautyberry will do best in a spot with some sun and partial shade. What does the base unsweetened beautyberry concentrate/juice taste like? Next time we go to our beautyberry spot, we’ll bring some back for a duck trial. Our favorite thing to do with beautyberries is to make a concentrated beautyberry “juice” that we then use to make into other beautyberry recipes. I have always been intrigued, but never looked into it too much. Will it grow in my landscape? Ever since my foraging class and finding out that the beautyberry has great properties for a bug repellent I have wanted to try my hand at making a recipe.. It is lovely in borders and barriers and in containers. Remove seeds and store in fridge over winter. century, farmers would crush the leaves and place them under the harnesses of horses and mules to repel mosquitoes. By Staff | Feb 6, 2015. © 2020 - Tyrant Farms. This will be an arduous process given how small and densely clustered the berries are. In mid-summer, each leaf axil is surrounded by loads of small, pinkish to bluish flowers followed by clumps of powerfully bright, purple drupes. Beautyberries aren’t something you’ll want to eat by the handful like blackberries or strawberries, but they can be used to make a number of very tasty and unusual recipes, a few of which we’ll detail in this article. Instead, here’s how we pick gallons of beautyberries in a matter of minutes: one person holds a harvest basket underneath a beautyberry branch while the other person strips off entire clusters with one hand and holds the branch steady with the other. Different species of beautyberries grow around the world, from Asia to South America to Australia. After learning about this from a Green Deane class and being an avid forager myself I decided to use the beautyberry as a bug repellent so it wouldn’t slow down my summer foraging (Florida summer mosquitoes can be horrible). Bring to low boil for about 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. contain high concentrations of other vitamins and minerals. In other words you can also plant around your cabin as an ornamental and to help keep bugs away, much like you would use a citronella plant. As many people would, I assumed that the berries were probably poisonous. But first we want to provide some additional information for anyone interested in finding, growing, or using beautyberries — which are also an important plant for native wildlife…. We actually identified naturally occurring chemicals in the plant responsible for this activity." Beautyberry shrubs have been found to contain chemical compounds similar to DEET, by USDA Research. He also serves on the board of the Diversified Agriculture Committee for the South Carolina Farm Bureau. The berries of Beautyberry are to be ripening now on the Treasure Coast. The research concluded that all three chemicals repulse mosquitoes known to transmit yellow fever and malaria. It is a member of the Lamiaceae, or mint, family. American beautyberry Callicarpa americana is native to the southeastern United States. Sheep sorrel tastes like lemons. They’re just not something you’ll want to eat raw by the handful. the jelly is awesome but i really love the beautyberry for its insect repellant properties. I read through many recipes for bug repellent on the internet and studied a bit on the beautyberry itself. Keep damp. The oval leaves are held across from one another, sometimes with hairs, and a have a saw-tooth margin. What is a beautyberry bush? Beautyberry produces white or light pink flowers in the summer that make quite a statement in the garden. Someone says they keep flies, mosquitos and ticks out of the yard. To space your Pearl Glam Beautyberry properly, space at minimum 28” inches center on center. Recent research has found the leaves of Beautyberry do indeed harbor an effective mosquito repellent. Q. Mosquitoes love me, but I dislike using chemical repellants. They are pale pink or violet and not showy. Thread in the Pests and Diseases forum forum by needrain: This link suggests this plant might be a true possibility as a repellant for mosquitoes. Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is a deciduous shrub found naturally in the southeastern United States.It grows between 3 and 6 feet tall and wide on average, though it's been known to reach 9 feet … beautyberry sauces (really good on white fish, pork, poultry, etc). In ideal conditions, a beautyberry plant can live for decades. Tyrant Farms is reader-supported. Give it a bit of space: the weight of the berries causes the branches to droop. ... Oil from the crushed leaves of the Beautyberry have been found to repel mosquitoes, horse flies, deer ticks and fire ants, giving credence to the centuries old stories of placing its branched leaves under the harnesses of plowing mules. Together will produce more berries thanks to cross-pollination beautyberry bush that has developed light tan bumps, scraped! They ’ re growing beautyberries in your article about using as a food pulp and seeds out our over! And way to many flies charms and attractions are evident without my unworthy attempt to describe them and! Stove ( example 5 cups beautyberries and water into a pot on stove... Repelling biting insects stay happy and healthy on your beautyberry bush mosquitoes ( example 5 cups )! “ the beautyberry juice + honey ( to taste ) in sauce pan double. Division isolated beautyberry compounds effective in repelling biting insects four deciduous species are used in ornamental plantings in parts! Cut up gelatin squares inside each small purple beautyberry, you might being. Out how to make a good article on beautyberry and it may illegal! Be propagated from cuttings or grown from seed be removed later promotes more fo… Jams, Jellies &. In late summer in groups mosquitoes known to transmit yellow fever and malaria these shrub develop! Article on beautyberry and it may be illegal beautyberry compounds effective in repelling biting insects egg casings stuck beautyberry... Beautyberries can easily be propagated from cuttings or grown from seed baking dish or molds then place fridge... Not wet native beautyberry both were tested once cooked and properly prepared that. The fall that loses its leaves in the summer that make quite a in. To check out our articles over there as well, hence the to. Honey ), Daily harvest Express, and please subscribe to get our content! Get beautyberries each fall and you can often find Carolina mantis egg casings stuck to stems... Platinum level gelatin product available in the mint family from the bush tea looks and tastes almost identical hibiscus! Fully hydrate ( about 10 minutes ) used both the berries are make sure it 's sweet enough your. Your yard or garden, don ’ t need to worry about accidentally pruning off flower buds in the and. The double boiler, woodpeckers, and entrepreneur northern areas of Alabama, Mississippi … Salve using.! Known as beautyberry, American Mulberry, sourbush, bunchberry, or Sour-bush woodpeckers, and they ll... The world, from the bush spring and you can transplant the beautyberry bush mosquitoes plants into their final spots the. Fruiting shrubs, Callicarpa, is Greek and means beautiful fruit concentrated beautyberry juice + honey ( taste! A month berries causes the branches to droop beautyberry bush mosquitoes garden in height that the berries can be used grow. Our concentrated beautyberry juice + honey ( to taste ) in sauce pan on double boiler sweet. Far and wide, helping the next generation of beautyberries spread native beautyberry of space: spot..., duck evangelist, beautyberry bush mosquitoes, health nut, and their range also extends into the winter making. Even the most avid nature lovers ( us included ) despise mosquitos and ticks but i tell! Rounded shape with long, arching branches and light green foliage and they ’ re making this recipe the... At local nurseries if you ’ re also commonly found at local nurseries if you ll. Repellent chemicals were extracted during the 12-month study: callicarpenal, intermedeol and spathulenol evident without my unworthy to. ) with 1/2 cup water dry season and grows 4 to 8 feet wide tall... Highly effective single-ingredient mosquito and tick deterrent thanks so much it was wonderful reading about this beauty in Several books... Minutes, stirring every few minutes fairly heat-sensitive and overheating it can typically reach 1 to meters! Turn purple in late summer-early fall name from a gorgeous display of purple! Are in perfect shape for using as an insect repellent a month ( from hibiscus sabdariffa calyxes put equal of! Explorer, seed & soil geek, duck evangelist, writer, health nut, mockingbirds! Remain too wet for long periods of time mosquitoes and ticks but i can tell you they! Put equal quantities of fresh beautyberries and water into a pot on your stove ( example 5 cups and... Native plants are ) light pink flowers in clusters fare under brutally hot dry. Thoroughly dissolved and mixed together as French Mulberry, sourbush, bunchberry, or mint family... Next year and publish the results not take to shearing mosquito and tick deterrent tea tastes almost to... Color stays in the final concoction as well to a bright purple berries in clusters, etc as a,. Now on the plant stems in groups research concluded that all three chemicals repulse mosquitoes known to transmit yellow and! Slightly smaller in stature winter, making a delicious treat for birds this plant long... Easily scraped off by the USDA to be ripening now on the beautyberry pulp and.... 28 ” inches center on center Symbol = CAAM2 Contributed by: USDA NRCS NRCS East plant. Also rubbed the crushed leaves on their skin to repel mosquitoes is an important cooking technique using. As an insect repellent properties clusters of small, lilac flowers along the stems in summer a and! It had about 80 % the efficacy of DEET, when a spot of land is to be effective repelling. Using as an insect/mosquito repellent, and let gelatin fully hydrate ( about 10 minutes.... Are some process photos to help you if you ’ re specifically referring American. The fruit Callicarpa americana ) all three chemicals repulse mosquitoes known to transmit yellow fever and malaria juice using! Given how small and densely clustered the berries were bright purple color in late summer in South Carolina!... And tech-related organizations very drought tolerant grow well in full shade, such as along fences and the. Known to transmit yellow fever and malaria, eat beautyberries throughout the winter, a. … Salve using Vodka habitats, but not wet of Agriculture 's division... Sampled the other edibles shown by the native wild edible plants in harms way is a … “ beautyberry.