Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai'
Purple Beautyberry
 
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Family: Verbena Family (Verbenaceae)
Native Habitat: Eastern and Central China

General Beautyberry Info:
As the name suggests, there's really only one reason to grow Beautyberries: their fabulous display of berries in the Autumn. Their latin name also suggests as much. The name is formed from the Greek callos, meaning beauty, and carpos for fruit. For most of the year they're pleasant small shrubs with no great appeal other than their pleasant arching and weeping form. In mid-summer clusters of small pinkish-lavender flowers arise in the leaf axles of the current year's new branches. By early-fall small green berries have formed but the curtain has yet to rise for the real show. By mid-Autumn the transformation from "plain Jane" to "va va voom" is complete. A mass planting of Beautyberries in full fruit is a truly spectacular horticultural sight. The 1/8 to 1/6" diameter fruits are typically a glowing lilac-violet and are perfectly displayed in large clusters along the stems.

Beautyberries only flower and fruit on "new wood": that is the current season's growth. They will exhibit some branch die back after hard winters here in Zone 5. Consequently, for the best shrub form and fruit display give them a hard pruning each spring. They'll quickly regrow and produce another bumper crop of berries.

This Variety:
The Japanese term “ Issai ” means “one-year-old”, suggesting. “early flowering” or “early bearing”, and in Japan is commonly used by nurserymen for woody plants that flower and bear fruit at an early age. That's exactly what this variety does.

   
Ornamental Characteristics: Small clusters of pink-lavender flowers along the stems in mid-summer followed by large clusters of glowing, almost metallic, bright, lilac-pink berries in fall. One of the most spectacular fruit displays in the horticultural world.
Habit & Growth Rate: Fast growing to 3 or 4 ft. high with a graceful arching and weeping form. Heavily fruit-laden branches can touch the ground at their tips.
Landscape Uses: Best planted in masses in the shrub border. Deer resistant.
Hardiness: Zone 5 to 8
Culture: Easily grown in full sun or light shade in average garden soil. Since it only flowers and fruits on new wood, best pruned down to within 6 to 18" of the ground in spring.
Awards:
Recommended, Ohio Nursery & Landscape Assoc.