Herb: American Beautyberry

Latin name: Callicarpa americana

Family: Verbenaceae (Verbena Family)

Medicinal use of American Beautyberry:

A decoction of the root bark has been used as a diuretic. The leaves are a cure for dropsy. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of dysentery and stomach aches. A tea made from the roots and berries is used in the treatment of colic. Some native North American Indian tribes used the leaves and roots in sweat baths for the treatment of malaria, rheumatism and fevers.

Description of the plant:


180 cm
(6 feet)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Rich woods and thickets.

Edible parts of American Beautyberry:

Fruit - raw. Juicy, sweet, fleshy, slightly aromatic. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow February in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 months at 18C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 10cm long, July/August in a frame. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth with a heel taken in early spring.

Cultivation of American Beautyberry:

Rich woods and thickets.

Known hazards of Callicarpa americana:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.