In Missouri, American Beautyberry is a small perennial shrub with striking purple berries in early October & November. Farther south, the plant can get to be quite large (sometimes up to eight feet). It is a long-lived plant, but during especially harsh winter it may die back to the ground. For a more natural look, wait until spring before pruning any dead branches. Otherwise, prune the entire plant down to about a foot in late winter.
American beautyberry has small pink flowers from June through August and is sure to attract small bees and other pollinators. The berries aren't a bird favorite, but they'll eventually nibble at them late in the year. They are edible for people, though they lack much flavor and are typically used in jellies. Research has found compounds in the leaves that can act as mosquito repellant.
Uses: Showy berries, butterflies, ornamental shrub
Bloom time: June - August
Height: 3 to 5 feet in Missouri
Space: 3 to 5 feet
Sun: Sun to medium shade