Our 2023 EFN seed catalogue is now online! 100+ new varieties. Over 40 different growers and foragers from across the country. A million thanks to all who make this possible, especially our amazing seed-house crew!
American beautyberry is a southeast native shrub most often encountered as an ornamental. It's easily recognized by its improbably bright purple berries (the color of purple Skittles) which persist on the plant for a long time in odd clusters at the base of it each of its green leaves. These berries almost look artificial, but they are actually edible and delicious! Sweet and juicy with pleasing aroma, they can be eaten raw or cooked. Birds and deer love them also (the berries and seeds are said to be an important food source for the increasingly rare Northern Bobwhite as well).
Our seed comes from Tennessee via the good folks at Sheffield's Seed Company in Locke, NY.
GROWING NOTES: Stratification of seeds is not required, but it will increase germination rates if they're cold-moist stratified for 60-90 days, then soaked in water for 24 hours. Sow seed 1/16" deep. Fall-sown seeds will likely do well too.
Plants grow 3-5 feet tall, with a similar width. In perfect conditions, they might reach 9 feet. Beautyberry has long, arching branches. The leaves turn yellow in the fall before dropping, but the berries can persist through the winter.