French mulberry
Callicarpa americana L.
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: American beautyberry
  • LEAVES: deciduous, opposite, simple; blades elliptic, 3-6” long and 1-4” wide, yellowish-green above; margins serrate to crenate; surfaces pubescent, texture papery; leaves strongly aromatic
  • FLOWER: perfect (bisexual), pink, in axillary compound cymes; flowering in spring and early summer
  • FRUIT: drupe with four pits, ca. 0.2” broad, violet to purple, white in some strains; fruiting cymes tend to encircle nodes; fruiting in late summer and fall
  • TWIGS: older twigs light brown, leaf scars round to obcordate with one vascular bundle scar
  • BARK: brown with numerous raised lenticels
  • FORM: shrub to 6’ tall
  • HABITAT: dry to mesic pine or mixed pine-hardwood forests, fencerows, clearcuts, old fields, brushy rangeland
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Upland (FACU): Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: southeastern US [US County Range Map]
  • USES: ornamental
  • WILDLIFE: many birds, whitetail deer, raccoons, opossums eat fruit; low- to moderate-value whitetail deer browse
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. shrub of well-drained sites with opposite, yellowish-green, aromatic leaves
    2. flowers and fruit in axillary compound cymes, especially conspicuous when fruiting