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Posts Tagged ‘Plants’

Excellent article on NPR “Why Leaves Really Fall Off Tree“s by Robert Krulwich

You think you know why leaves fall off trees. Well, you’re wrong. It’s not the wind. It’s not the cold.

It’s because trees use “scissors” to cut their leaves off.””

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Iridescent purple is a good color for a native plant.

Iridescent purple is a good color for a native plant.

This first time I met this gorgeous beauty, I came close to falling off a rather hilly trail in Virginia. My hiking partner (after rescuing me from an embarrassing near face plant)  knew the plant only as French mulberry, a fairly common name for it in that area.

As it turns out, this stunning berried shrub isn’t French and isn’t a mulberry. It is a native plant throughout most of the Southeast, from Maryland on around to Texas.This is American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), a shrub so gaudy it makes Asian beautyberries look shy and retiring. It is found growing in dappled light in open woodlands with rich, well drained soil.

Callicarpa americana habit klr

In full berry, the branches are so heavily loaded that they bend over to the ground, giving a weeping effect. The berry clusters themselves can be as large as a small child’s fist. The berries are preceded by lovely, surprisingly dainty lavender flowers in spring. American beautyberries easily grow to at least

6 to 8 feet tall.  Beautyberries usually appear best when planted in groups rather than individually.

For even more fun, there is a milky white berried cultivar – Callicarpa americana ‘Lactea’  – that can pull off being the main fall feature in a white garden.

Just a few days ago, I learned of the existence of a PINK American beautyberry. Obviously, this is a plant I need, and as soon as possible. Fortunately, it appears that Woodlander’s, a mail order nursery in Aiken, SC carries this plant, a cultivar called ‘Welsh Pink’ or ‘Welsh’s Pink’ or ‘Welch’s Pink’ depending on whose site you go by. Under any name, it looks irresistible to me.

(fixed a bit of grammar and spelling)

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