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Callicarpa japonica

Pronunciation: kal-lick-AR-puh juh-PAW-nick-uh
Family: Verbenaceae
Common Name: Japanese Beautyberry
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 6ft
Width to: 6ft
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid summer
  • late summer
Bloom Description: Japanese Beautyberry (Callicarpa japonica) ear small pale pink flowers in 1 to 1. 5in clusters, not showy and often largely obscured by the foliage
Soil Type: average, moist, well drained
Pests and Diseases: Cottony camellia scale, black mildew, dieback, leaf scorch and fungal leaf spots
Propagation: Sow Japanese Beautyberry (Callicarpa japonica) seeds in containers in cold frame in autumn or spring. Root softwood cuttings in spring, or semi ripe cuttings with bottom heat in summer.
Native to: Japan
Notes for Identification:


  • native to Japan
  • hardy to zone 5

Habit and Form

  • a multi stemmed deciduous shrub
  • 4ft to 6ft tall with an equal width
  • shape is generally rounded
  • branching is upright and arching over

 Summer Foliage

  • opposite, simple leaves
  • leaves are elliptic with acuminate tips
  • leaf margins are finely serrated
  • leaves are 2 to 5in long
  • leaves are 1.5 to 2in wide
  • leaf color is medium green


Autumn Foliage

  • yellow or greenish yellow with a purplish cast
  • under the right sun exposure, plants can develop nearly pink or lavender fall color


  • small pale pink flowers in 1 to 1.5in clusters
  • bloom time is July
  • not showy and often largely obscured by the foliage



  • small metallic purple berries in rounded axillary clusters
  • color develops in October
  • fruit display is at its best after the leaves have dropped
  • very showy in full fruit
  • the quality of the fruit color is unrivaled



  • stems are slender and bark development is not ornamentally important


  • full sun to light shade
  • easily transplanted
  • grows rapidly
  • prefers a well-drained soil, although relatively adaptable
  • do not over fertilize as this will stimulate unwanted vegetative growth
  • rejuvenate occasionally, especially following difficult winters
  • fruit is produced on new growth
  • regular pruning is a fact of life with this plant in order to keep the plant tidy

Landscape Use

  • shrub borders
  • in groupings and mass plantings
  • useful for very showy fruit display
  • can be treated as a semi-hardy shrub or herbaceous perennial


  • when not in fruit it is an ordinary shrub without multi-season appeal
  • lack of cold hardiness in zone 5
  • needs regular pruning to remove winter injury and control rank growth

ID Features

  • deciduous shrub with vigorous slender shoots
  • metallic purple fruits in axillary clusters
  • opposite leaves with serrate margins and acuminate tips


  • by cuttings

Source: University of Connecticut

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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