Identify & eat American Beautyberries

how to...

American beautyberries are a native plant and their berries are better for use in foods & drinks.  Asian beautyberries are invasive and not as good in the kitchen.

Step 1: Identification

American beautyberries have a more upright growth habit. Asian beautyberries have a weeping growth habit.

Step 1: Identification - Growth Habit

Asian beautyberry bush with a weeping growth habit.

American beautyberry with an upright growth habit.

When ripe, American beautyberries form tight clusters around the branches. Asian beautyberries dangle slightly off the branches via small stems (peduncles).

Step 1: Identification - berries 

Asian beautyberry berries attached to the branch via stem or peduncle (gold arrows)

American beautyberry berries form much tighter clusters around the branches.

Some people are allergic to beautyberry leaves, so your first few times, wear gloves & long sleeves when harvesting. Hold one hand under the berry cluster while pulling forward on the berry cluster with your other hand. All the berries in a cluster will dislodge.

Step 2: Harvesting safety 

Holding a basket to catch any falling berries while using the other hand to harvest a branch of berries.

Once you have enough beautyberries in your container/harvest basket, remove any unwanted leaves or debris.

Step 2: Harvesting cleaning 

A basket of berries with leaves and debris. Fun fact: Any leaves can be saved and used as mosquito repellent! 

Beautyberries aren’t a very good fresh-eating berry - think of them as a unique flavoring that’s like a cross between Chinese five spice and canned pears. They make for amazing color & taste in jellies, desserts, drinks, etc...

Step 3:  eating & drinking

There are lots of recipes to choose from, but you typically start by cooking and straining seeds and skins, infusing recipes with bright pink color and unique flavor.

Step 3:  eating & drinking

American beautyberries make a vibrant and tasty  jello! 


Beautyberry infused whipped cream makes a delicious seasonal addition to crepes — or frankly,  anything needing whipped cream. 


Beautyberry crabapple cordial has become one of our favorite seasonal treats! 


Read the full article at Tyrant Farms!