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Woody > Callicarpa > Callicarpa dichotoma > Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'

Callicarpa dichotoma

'Early Amethyst'

Early Amethyst Beautyberry

            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


The ever-popular beautyberry, 'Early Amethyst', is a shrub that boasts a tidy habit, arching branches and many glossy, amethyst fruit. Summer clusters of pale lavender-pink flowers develop into masses of amethyst berries in autumn. The fruits tend to persist longer than average offering late autumn-winter appeal. A show-stopping, stunning plant for the autumn garden that offers great potential when grown in mass.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


'Early Amethyst'
Shrub (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
5- 8a
Canadian Hardiness Zone
5- 8a
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
1-2 m
1-1.5 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
The Beautyberry is a deciduous, medium-sized shrub. It has simple ovate medium glossy green foliage in the spring and summer that turns yellow then brown in the autumn. It produces small clusters of pinkish-purple flowers in the spring and vibrant amethyst purple berry clusters in the summer and autumn and grows up to 2 m in height.
Early Amethyst is well rounded, multi-stemmed, arching branched deciduous shrub. In the landscape, it is suitable for container planting, informal hedges, general garden use, and borders but is best suited to mass planting. Features include the lavender-pink clustered flowers and the very showy and vibrant purple fruit which persist even after the plants leaves drop in autumn/early winter.
It can be grown in full sun to partial shade; however, if you have too much shade the branches will droop. It prefers acidic, medium moisture soils but can handle some drought conditions and basic soils. Plants should be planted in early spring and if pruning is required that it be performed at bud break in the early spring. It is an urban and pollution tolerant plant.
It is a medium growing, multi-stemmed shrub with arching, fountain-like branches.
ID Characteristic
C. dichotoma 'Early Amethyst' has simple, ovate, medium glossy green foliage in the spring and summer that turns yellow then brown in autumn. In the spring it bears small clusters of lavender- pink flowers followed by clusters of intensely coloured, small purple berries carried on arching foliage.
There are no major serious problems with the Beautyberry. Some plantings may experience leaf spot, stem disease, and black mould. Some stem dieback may occur in very harsh winters however regrowth will usually occur.
Horticultural origin.
Bark/Stem Description
Smooth thin fountain like arching branches which are reddish brown in spring and summer and turn tan colour in the autumn and winter.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Buds are small and white approximately 0.5 -1 cm and are clearly evident in the early spring.
Leaf Description
The leaves are simple, opposite and are acuminate, cruneate and serrate except at the apex and base. They are approximately 2.5 - 7.6 cm long and 1.5-3.8 cm wide. They are a glabrous medium green adaxil and sparingly glandular and pubescent abaxil.
Flower Description
The 5 mm, flowers grow in small clusters at the base of the petiole. They are showy, lavender-pinkish-white and are produced on the current season's growth.
Fruit Description
After flowering bright glossy amethyst clusters of fruit appear. The plant puts on its best display in October since the fruit persists after leaf drop. The glossy purple fruit are 5 mm, clustered and ripen in late summer.
Colour Description
The best colour is in autumn after the leaves drop and the vibrant purple amethyst fruit still remains; However, it is a multi-season shrub as in early summer it bears clusters of pinkish lavender-white flowers contrasted with simple, opposite, medium green foliage. In autumn the leaves turn yellow then brown while the bark is reddish brown in spring and summer and tan in autumn.
Texture Description
Notable Specimens
Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis, Missouri. North Carolina University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America. Fanshawe College, London Ontario, Canada. Toronto Botanical Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Propagate through semi-hardwood or hardwood cuttings rooted on bottom heat in sand.
Michael, A Dirr, 'Manual of Woody Landscape Plants', Champaign Illinois 1975 Print, Sibley Allen David. 'The Sibley Guide To Trees and Shrubs', New York New York.2009 Print.