Its best attribute and what really
catches the eye about this shrub is its abundant berries. The berries
are a unique bright lavender-violet, a color distinctive to this
shrub. They are quite a surprise when they begin to show their color
in early autumn. At first look, they almost don't look real! Its
color is unique among berried plants.
berries begin as pale green and gradually change to lavender-violet
throughout autumn. The clusters of small, glossy berries are held
opposite each other all along each stem above the foliage, from the
base of the stem right to the tip. The berries closest to the center
of the plant begin to show color first. The last to change are those
right at the stem tips. The berries are colorful while the leaves are
still on the shrub, creating a beautiful contrast between the green
leaves and purple berries. The berries persist on the shrub well into
winter after the leaves have dropped. They are even more striking
when a light layer of snow coats them and any plant that can provide
winter interest here in New England is definitely worth growing in
the garden. The striking purple berries are showy from September
Of course, where there are
berries, there had to have been flowers first. Purple
beautyberry bears small, frothy, lavender-pink flowers
almost all summer from late June to August. The flowers appear all
along its stems where the leaves join the stems. The individual tiny
flowers are not all that showy, but there is an abundance of them
lining the stems.
Another nice attribute about
purple beautyberry is its autumn foliage. Its small, light-green
leaves change to a pale yellow blushed with purple and pink. The
combination of autumn foliage and berries is enough to turn heads.
The fall foliage is long lasting, providing a colorful show for many
weeks in fall. Leaves drop by mid autumn, leaving bare stems lined
with dozens of clusters of berries.
As if it didn't have enough going
for it already, purple beautyberry is also a small shrub that only
grows three to four feet tall with a slightly greater spread. Because
of its small, manageable size, it's the perfect choice for a mixed
flower bed or border as well as small garden spaces. It has slender
branches that arch gracefully outward from the center of the plant.
Outer branches reach to the ground, creating a cascading appearance.
is another ornamental-berried shrub that provides colorful berries
from autumn through winter. Winterberry is a deciduous holly that
drops its leaves in fall, revealing its vibrant berries. I like to
use stems of winterberry in holiday decorations and in my windowboxes.
is an outstanding variety of winterberry. It forms a handsome,
vase-shaped shrub 15 to 18 feet high and nearly as wide. In late
summer, its berries turn bright red and persist on the shrub well
into winter. It grows well in a range of conditions from sun to shade
and tolerates wet soil.
Winterberry 'Red Sprite' is a
small deciduous shrub with rounded foliage. The stems are loaded with
large, bright-red berries up to 1/2" in diameter. The bright-red
berries on bare stems really stand out in winter against snow-covered
ground. This variety of winterberry is small, forming a handsome
shrub just three to four feet high and wide without any pruning.
Because of its small size, it's a good choice for small gardens. I am
growing it in my flower bed where its vibrant berries really stand
out, especially in winter when all the other plants have gone dormant.