Thursday, January 27, 2011

Callicarpa mollis--Japanese Beautyberry

No wonder this plant is called Beautyberry! Those magenta berries are really something! Humans make them into wine or jelly, but birds eat them straight up, even though they are astringent. This species is from Japan, but C americana is from the Southeastern US. The USDA has proven that American Beautyberry leaves have insect-repellent properties and work just as well as DEET. Wow! Now they just have to figure out if it is toxic to people.

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