American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is an attractive, common landscape shrub native to the southeastern US. It produces edible berries that can be turned into very tasty recipes and leaves that can be used an effective insect repellent. Learn all about beautyberries in this article!
Last fall we were at a friend’s house who is an adventuresome eater, but hasn’t yet familiarized herself with the abundance of edible food plants that can be found growing wild in most home landscapes.
Though we skipped grazing the wild garlic in order not to make our breath offensive, we sampled the other edibles. Sheep sorrel tastes like lemons. Chickweed tastes like corn silk.
Then we moved on to the beautyberries, which she — like many others — had planted as a landscape plant, completely oblivious to its edibility.
The berries were bright purple and at peak ripeness. She nibbled a few and exclaimed, “wow, those are really unique!” Indeed.