Beautyberry (Callicarpa Bodinieri Var. Giraldii ‘Profusion’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Beautyberry (Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’)

In the realm of ornamental plants, few possess the unique allure of the beautyberry (Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’). Known for its vibrant berries and stunning foliage, this plant has captured the hearts of gardeners and nature enthusiasts alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of beautyberry, exploring its cultural requirements, uses, and ecological significance.

What is Beautyberry?

Beautyberry, scientifically known as Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion,’ is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. Originating from China, this plant has garnered attention for its ornamental value, particularly its clusters of bright purple berries that adorn the stems in late summer and fall. The ‘Profusion’ variety specifically stands out for its abundant and showy fruit production, making it a prized addition to gardens and landscapes.

Plant Characteristics

The beautyberry shrub exhibits the following key characteristics:

  • Height: Typically reaching a height of 4-6 feet, but can vary based on growing conditions and pruning practices.
  • Foliage: The foliage consists of serrated, ovate leaves with a glossy texture.
  • Berries: The most notable feature, the vibrant purple berries, appears in clusters and persists into the winter months, providing ornamental interest long after the growing season ends.
  • Flowers: Inconspicuous pale pink flowers emerge in early summer, serving as precursors to the striking berries.

Key Takeaways

Beautyberry (Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’)

Before diving into the specific aspects of beautyberry care and cultivation, let’s highlight the key takeaways of this remarkable plant:

  • Ornamental Value: The striking purple berries make beautyberry a standout choice for adding visual interest to gardens and landscapes.
  • Wildlife Attraction: The berries are a valuable food source for birds, making beautyberry an asset for wildlife-friendly gardens.
  • Seasonal Interest: Beyond its summer berries, beautyberry’s foliage undergoes a striking transformation in the fall, showcasing shades of yellow and purple.
  • Low Maintenance: Once established, beautyberry is relatively low-maintenance, requiring minimal intervention for successful growth.

Now, let’s explore the various aspects of beautyberry care and maintenance to better understand how to harness the full potential of this captivating plant.



Ornamental Landscaping

Beautyberry is predominantly cultivated for its ornamental value, serving as a striking focal point in gardens, borders, and naturalized landscapes. The vibrant berries add a pop of color, especially in late summer and fall when other flowering shrubs may have finished their bloom cycle.

Wildlife Habitat Enhancement

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, beautyberry plays a crucial role in supporting wildlife. The abundant berries are a favored food source for birds, providing sustenance during the leaner months and enhancing biodiversity in the surrounding ecosystem.


Beautyberry demonstrates a moderate tolerance to drought conditions once established. However, regular watering, particularly during dry spells, will promote healthy growth and help ensure robust berry production. Adequate moisture is especially vital during the plant’s establishment phase and in the weeks leading up to the berry formation.


This shrub thrives in full sun to partial shade, showcasing its adaptability to various light conditions. While it can tolerate partial shade, providing ample sunlight will promote optimal berry production and vibrant foliage.


Beautyberry generally thrives in nutrient-rich, well-draining soil and responds well to balanced fertilizer applications in the early spring. A slow-release or organic fertilizer can provide the necessary nutrients to support vigorous growth and abundant fruiting.


The ideal soil for beautyberry is well-draining and rich in organic matter. Consistent moisture retention is crucial, but waterlogged conditions should be avoided to prevent root rot. A slightly acidic to neutral pH level (6.0-7.0) is favorable for promoting healthy growth and berry production.


Key Points for Pruning Beautyberry

  • Timing: Pruning is best performed in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges to allow for a flush of fresh growth and robust berry production.
  • Objective: Removal of older wood and thinning out overly dense growth can help maintain an open and tidy growth habit, enhancing the plant’s overall appearance.
  • Deadheading: Removing spent flower clusters can promote a tidier look and redirect the plant’s energy towards berry production.


Beautyberry can be propagated through various methods, including:

  • Softwood Cuttings: Softwood cuttings taken in late spring or early summer can root readily under favorable conditions, providing a reliable means of propagation.
  • Seed Propagation: While viable seeds can be collected from mature berries, beautyberry seeds may exhibit variable germination rates and require patience.

Container Popularity

In addition to being cultivated in traditional garden settings, beautyberry can thrive in containers, making it a versatile option for patio and urban gardens. When growing beautyberry in containers, ensure the pots have adequate drainage and provide regular irrigation to support the plant’s moisture needs.

Common Diseases

Beautyberry is relatively resilient to most common diseases, but occasional issues may arise, including:

  • Powdery Mildew: In humid conditions, powdery mildew may affect the foliage. To mitigate this, ensure good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to reduce humidity levels around the plant.

  • Cercospora Leaf Spot: This fungal disease can result in dark spots on the foliage. It can be managed by removing and disposing of infected leaves and promoting overall plant vigor through proper watering and fertilization.

Disease Diagnosis

Regular inspection of the foliage and overall plant health is crucial for early disease detection. Any signs of abnormal discoloration, wilting, or unusual growth should be promptly addressed to prevent the progression of potential diseases.

Common Pests

While beautyberry is not highly susceptible to pest infestations, certain pests may occasionally pose a threat, including:

  • Japanese Beetles: These voracious feeders can consume the foliage and cause significant damage. Physical removal and the use of protective barriers are effective control measures.

  • Aphids: In some instances, aphids may be found clustering on the new growth. Gentle spraying with water or the introduction of natural predators can help manage aphid populations.

Botanist’s Tips

  • Companion Planting: Beautyberry complements a diverse array of plants, including coneflowers (Echinacea spp.), ornamental grasses, and fall-blooming perennials, creating visually appealing and ecologically beneficial garden compositions.
  • Wildlife Gardening: Incorporating beautyberry into wildlife-friendly gardens and habitat restoration projects can significantly contribute to supporting local bird populations and enhancing ecological diversity.

Fun Facts

  1. Beautyberry has a long history of traditional medicinal and culinary uses in some cultures, where the berries were utilized for their potential health benefits and in various culinary applications.
  2. The vibrant purple berries are a visual and textural treat during the winter months, often persisting well after the foliage has fallen, adding an unexpected burst of color to the dormant landscape.

Links to External Resources

For further information, here are some useful resources on the cultivation and uses of beautyberry:

  1. University of Florida – Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’
  2. North Carolina State University – Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’
  3. Missouri Botanical Garden – Callicarpa bodinieri

In conclusion, beautyberry (Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’) stands out as a captivating and versatile addition to landscapes, offering a unique blend of ornamental appeal and ecological significance. By incorporating this stunning shrub into garden designs and wildlife habitats, enthusiasts can experience the beauty and functional benefits that beautyberry has to offer.

By understanding its cultural requirements, diverse uses, and role in supporting wildlife, gardeners can fully appreciate and harness the potential of this exceptional plant, enriching their outdoor spaces and contributing to the preservation of biodiversity.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.