What is the plant
Callicarpa is a genus of shrubs and small trees in the family Lamiaceae. Beautyberries live up to their common name, which comes from the botanical name Callicarpa, meaning beautiful fruit. They are native to Asia, Australia, Madagascar, and America.
The temperate species of Callicarpa are deciduous, the tropical species evergreen. The leaves are simple, opposite, and 5–25 cm long. The flowers are in clusters, white to pinkish. The fruit is a berry, 2–5 mm diameter and pink to red-purple with a highly distinctive metallic lustre, are very conspicuous in clusters on the bare branches after the leaves fall. The berries last well into the winter or dry season and are an important survival food for birds and other animals, though they will not eat them until other sources are depleted. The berries are highly astringent but are made into wine and jelly. Callicarpa species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Endoclita malabaricus and Endoclita undulifer.
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