American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is one of the most popular and widely grown trees in North America. It is native to the United States east of Mexico, but it grows wild all over the country. The tree is a deciduous shrub with long slender branches, which are usually dark green or purple-black at maturity. They have no showy flowers; they simply bloom once every two years during their dormant season.
The leaves are opposite, lance-shaped, 4–6 inches long and ¼ inch wide. The upper surface is smooth and shiny while the lower surface is hairy. Flowers occur in clusters on short stalks up to 2 inches long, borne singly or in small bunches on twigs.
There are many varieties of American Beautyberry, each with its own characteristics and uses. Some are used for food, others are ornamental, some are edible and still others have medicinal properties.
The fruit is a roundish berry about 1/2 inch across and covered with small seeds. It contains several large seeds that when eaten can cause severe stomach upset if not crushed before swallowing. The berries may be chewed or extracted directly from the plant.
When ripe, the fruits contain a sweet pulp that is often used in pies and other desserts. People often dry the berries for later use. The berries can be toxic if eaten before they are ripe.
The fruit of American Beautyberry can be made into jelly, jam, juice, wine, syrup, vinegar, or dried for future use. The fruit made into a poultice helps sooth insect bites and stings. A tea of the leaves was used by Native Americans to treat colds and coughs.
An ointment made from the leaves has been used topically to treat skin disorders. The fruit should only be eaten in small quantities as it can cause nausea and diarrhea if consumed in large amounts.
Most of the wild varieties of American Beautyberry can be found on the edges of woods, thickets, fields, and along the fringes of roads and streams. They prefer well drained soil and full sun. They bloom in the spring or early summer and their leaves turn a lovely red, orange, or purple in the fall.
In some areas they are short-lived but in favorable locations they can live for many years.
Care Of Beautyberry
The plant does not thrive when exposed to temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It cannot survive in wet or poorly drained soil. It requires well-draining soil.
It prefers full sun but can grow in partial shade. It tolerates a wide range of soil types but it cannot tolerate standing water.
Due to the nature of its leaves the plant does not tolerate frost. It requires some shelter from strong winds. It also benefits from being planted near taller trees that can provide some protection from wind and cold.
It can grow in a container but it does require repotting every two to three years or when its container becomes overcrowded.
The plant can be propagated by seeds which are readily available or by softwood tip cuttings.
The plant prefers moderate amounts of fertilizer. It should never be fertilized late in the season as this may cause it to bloom prematurely. It is susceptible to a variety of diseases and insects if grown in moist or humid conditions.
Harvesting And Using
The fruit can be harvested from July through September. It should be picked when it is fully ripe as green fruit can cause nausea and diarrhea if consumed in large quantities.
The ripe berries can be crushed for jellies and preserves or for making wine. The berries can be dried and stored for later use. It is also used to make a juice or syrup.
A poultice of the leaves can be used to treat bee stings. It can be used in a compress to treat eye irritation.
The flowers contain a toxic substance and should not be ingested in any form.
The plant is vulnerable to a number of diseases and insects. It can be attacked by a mold that turns the leaves a grayish color. Aphids, leaf miners, thrips, and caterpillars can also all damage the plant to varying degrees.
Additionally, rabbits have been known to browse on the plant. Deer tend to avoid it.
The American Beautyberry is a lovely plant that can provide food, medicine, and enjoyment to any garden. It requires a bit more attention than some other plants but the extra care is well worth it.
A Sampling Of Recipes Using American Beautyberry
1. Wine – Combine two cups of fruit with one gallon of water and boil gently for about twenty minutes.
Strain and sweeten (honey or sugar). Allow to ferment for two days, then strain again. Bottle and seal.
Makes four cups.
2. Jelly -The berries can be used to make jelly.
To do this, add 1/2 cup of fruit to one cup of sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir constantly until the berries burst and the juice drips from the spoon. Remove from heat, skim off foam, and pour into jars.
Makes about 4 eight-ounce jars.
3. Syrup -After picking, the berries can be used to make syrup.
To do this, add 2 cups of crushed berries to 2 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a saucepan. Boil gently for about fifteen minutes. Then strain and seal in a container.
4. Cookies -2 cups plain flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp.
baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 1 cup American Beautyberries.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream the butter and sugar together until light in color. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the berries (pick out any stems or green berries that do not look ripe). Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
American Beech Tree
The American beech is a native deciduous tree that reaches heights of up to one hundred feet with a trunk diameter of three to four feet. It has a fresh, green foliage in the summer and beautiful yellow to orange-red foliage in the fall. The bark is smooth and light gray for the younger trees and dark gray, thick, and rugged for the older ones.
Beech trees have horizontal branching near the base and generally grow in moist soils. They prefer to grow in highlands or low mountains in fairly rich soils. They are mainly found in the eastern half of North America and are fairly resistant to cold temperatures. The American beech is related to the European beech which grows throughout Europe. It is sometimes known as the “white” or “sweet” or “American” beech to distinguish it from its European relative.
The American beech is generally found growing in rich soil alongside streams or other water sources. The nuts that it produces each fall serve as food for wildlife and are very nutritious for humans as well. The leaves can also be cooked and eaten but they should be eaten shortly after they fall in the fall because they quickly lose their nutritional value after that.
The inner bark of the tree can be eaten either raw or cooked and was used by Native Americans to make baskets, rope, and other things. The tree can be easily felled with a small to medium-sized tree feller when it is dead or dying.
Beech trees do not have many natural enemies and are not really prone to disease or attacks by insects. Beeches are generally free of knots, splits, cracks, and heart rot. Due to the lack of these types of flaws, this species of tree is generally clear and free of imperfections and is strong, straight-grained, and easy to work with.
Many Native American tribes made use of various parts of the tree including the Iroquois, Huron, and Algonquin tribes. The wood was traditionally used to make bowls, cooking utensils, baby cradles, snowshoes, bowls, and drums. Because the tree has a tendency to warp when drying, it is necessary to keep it properly seasoned so that it does not crack after several years.
Beech trees can be used to make a number of different things including coffins, flooring, siding, and many other things. It is easy to work with and takes paint, stain, and cement well. The wood is light in color and is sometimes used as an accent or in non-weight bearing parts of structures.
It has a uniform and appealing look that many people prefer. The wood itself is reasonably strong but is susceptible to denting and scratching. It also has a tendency to splinter so it should not be used in situations that require a high amount of rigidity or toughness.
The American Beech tree’s nuts have a high oil content and are sweet when eaten raw. Native Americans would sometimes cook the nuts and then season them with salt, fish, or other spices before eating them. Legend says that the Pilgrims were saved from starvation by harvesting and eating nuts from this tree during the first harsh winter.
The nuts are fairly easy to harvest as long as you can reach the branches. They can be found either singularly or in groups that are either encased in a light colored husk or attached to the branch by a stem. American Beech tree’s can grow fairly large, with some specimens reaching heights of up to 90 feet and 6 feet in diameter. Their height can make them vulnerable to windstorms and lightning strikes so they tend to thrive in places that are protected from such natural occurrences.
The American Beech is usually considered to be a type of decorative hardwood although it can be used in the construction of buildings and other things that require a lot of lumber. It grows at a medium rate and can reach heights of up to 90 feet with a trunk diameter of up to 6 feet. It prefers moist soil and can often be found growing along stream banks or other areas where water is plentiful.
The tree has a smooth, light grey bark that sometimes has a pinkish hue. It has distinctive leathery leaves that are shiny green on the top and light green on the bottom. It produces small, nut-like seeds in small burrs that grow within a fibrous husk. The tree is known to produce light yellow wood that is generally straight grained and porous.
American Beech trees are deciduous, which means that they lose their leaves in the fall and grow them back again in the spring. It is a common misconception that all Beeches are called “Fir” trees, this is not true, although they are part of the same family as the Balsam Fir.
The American Beech is scientifically known as Fagus grandifolia and is part of the Beech family. It is considered to be a broad leaf tree and can grow to be anywhere from 40-90 feet tall with trunk diameters of up to 6 feet. It requires a moderate amount of maintenance and can live for up to 200 years.
It is known to thrive in areas with mild summers and cool, snowy winters. These types of trees are generally found in the eastern parts of North America but can sometimes be found in the far west as well.
One of the most common types of trees in the United States is the American Beech tree. There are an estimated 70 million of these trees and they can be found in every state except for Hawaii. There are several different types of beech trees but the most common is the American Beech tree, which is what we will discuss in this hub.
Trees are vital to the health of the planet. Without them, the Earth would be a very different place. Not only do they add oxygen to the air we breathe, they also absorb harmful gases and release clean oxygen.
Some trees also help to regulate the temperature of the Earth.
When a person thinks of a tree, they usually think of the large, towering specimens that live for centuries. While these are certainly the most impressive types of trees, there are many smaller varieties that are equally deserving of praise. One such example is the Fig Tree .
There are so many ways to enjoy trees; you may wish to see if any interesting varieties grow in your area. If not, you can always grow them from seeds or cuttings. Many types of trees are easy to raise.
Another good reason to plant a tree is that they can help prevent soil erosion on steep hillsides. They also act as a natural habitat for birds, animals and insects. Trees can even reduce the amount of noise in an area.
Planting trees is a great way to add beauty and tranquility to any landscape. If you have children, they will enjoy planting a tree and watching it grow. There are many reasons to plant trees; here are just a few.
There are many reasons for adding trees to your landscape. The obvious ones are shade and beauty. Planting a tree is also a long term investment as it can stay in your landscape for decades.
Another benefit of trees is they can help reduce your heating and cooling costs.
Cottonwood trees are commonly found alongside rivers, streams and creeks. They tend to grow very quickly and have a deep, root system that helps stabilize the soil. These trees are often used for making furniture, flooring and other construction items.
The Cottonwood is a type of tree that can grow to be 100 feet in height and can live for over 200 years. It has a reddish brown bark and will produce fluffy white seeds in the springtime. This tree is often chosen for its strong, flexible wood and can be used to make anything from furniture to rooftops.
One of the most common types of trees in the United States is the infamous Oak Tree . There are several different varieties of oak trees but they all have one thing in common; durable acorn fruits.
The Oak Tree is scientifically known as Quercus Virginiana and can live between 80-1000 years, depending on the type. There are several different varieties including the Red Oak, White Oak, Black Oak and Chestnut Oak.
The Live Oak gets its name from the fact that it has lowland roots that are submerged in water, making it “alive” in a sense. These types of trees are popular along the Atlantic Ocean and grow very well in marshlands. During the 18th and 19th centuries, live oak trees were commonly used to build ships due to their strong wood.
All types of oak trees are known to have thick, durable wood that can last for decades. During the 18th and 19th century, when wood was the primary source of fuel, oak was considered the King of Firewood due to its heating efficiency.
Each type of oak tree has its own specific qualities but they all share certain similarities such as thick bark that helps prevent destruction from animals or severe weather. The wood from oak trees has many unique qualities that have made it a popular choice for building material for centuries.
Thanks to deforestation and climate change, the American Chestnut Tree has been on the endangered list for years. These types of trees used to be one of the most common flora in the Appalachian Mountain range but began to decline due to a parasite known as the Chestnut Blight.
This blight enters the tree through its roots and begins to destroy it from the inside out. It was originally brought over from Asia on imported timber and gradually made its way to the Appalachian Mountain range via wind carried seeds.
The American Chestnut Tree is not only an important part of wildlife habitat but it provides plenty of food for several different types of animals. Both the nuts and the bark can be eaten by bears, deer and other creatures that make their homes in or around the Appalachian Mountain range.
There are several different types of oak trees found in the Eastern region of the United States including the White Oak, the Black Oak, the Pin Oak and the Chestnut Oak just to name a few.
If you happen to live in an area that has any of these trees, you might want to consider keeping some acorns for future use. Acorns can be used as a substitute for flour and are an excellent addition to any baked goodie.
Not only are they used as an ingredient in things like breads and cakes but they can also be roasted and eaten as a snack or used to make things like cheese. Acorns can also be ground up and added to soups and stews for extra flavor!
There are two primary types of oak trees, the White Oak and the Red Oak. The White Oak is known to have excellent durability while the Red Oak is known for its strength. No matter what type of oak tree you live near, you should be able to find something useful from it!
Other types of trees commonly found in the Eastern region of the US include the Tulip Tree, the Sycamore and the Black Walnut. Each one of these types of trees has their own specific uses but if you’re ever in doubt about what to do with something just follow your instincts, chances are your Grandmother knew a lot more about Mother Nature than you think!
Trees are beneficial to any garden and any homesteader with a green thumb can tell you that. In fact, not only do they provide a habitat for wildlife but they can also help prevent erosion of the soil due to strong root systems.
They provide shade which protects against excess moisture loss and helps regulate things like temperature and humidity levels. It’s no wonder why plants and trees have always been a vital part of Mother Nature’s plan!
Sources & references used in this article:
American Beautyberry for Borrow Pit Reclamation in South Carolina: Trials produced good results after three years by H Martin, G Sick – Restoration & Management Notes, 1995 – JSTOR
American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana): Section 7.5. 8, US Army Corps of Engineers Wildlife Resources Management Manual. by CO Martin, SP Mott – 1997 – apps.dtic.mil
Fruiting of browse plants affected by pine site preparation in east Texas by JJ Stransky, D Richardson – Proceedings of the Annual Conference of …, 1977 – fs.usda.gov
Economic assessment of tebuthiuron-fire systems for brush management by CJ Scifres – Weed Technology, 1987 – JSTOR
Callicarpa americana L. American beautyberry VERBENACEAE (also placed in LAMIACEAE alt. Labiatae) Synonyms: None by K Connor – Wildland Shrubs of the United States and Its Territories …, 2004 – fs.usda.gov
Control of oaks (Quercus spp.) and associated woody species on rangeland with tebuthiuron by CJ Scifres, JW Stuth, RW Bovey – Weed Science, 1981 – JSTOR
American Beautyberry by AX Niemiera – 2009 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
American Beautyberry by R Linex – Ranch and Rural Living, 2018 – search.proquest.com
Survival and Growth of Callicarpa americana (American Beautyberry) of Northern and Southern Origin in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 and 6 by WR Graves, AL Thomas – Journal of Environmental …, 2011 – meridian.allenpress.com