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Plant of the Month: Callicarpa

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

Each month we bring you a plant or tree that looks its best right now.

Is your garden starting to look a little brown and murky now that Autumn is in full swing? The recent rain has made everything a little damp and sad looking hasn’t it? But there is hope! There are still plenty of plants that will inject colour and energy into your garden right up until Christmas, and one of those is our November plant of the month - Callicarpa.

Also known as the Beautyberry – and you can see why (!), Callicarpa can be spotted in plenty of Cambridge gardens at this time of year thanks to its unmissable clusters of purple fruits that literally shine out like jewels against the orange, red and yellow hues of Autumn.

Originating from China, Callicarpa is a deciduous shrub that’s very easy to grow and completely winter hardy. Although they are unremarkable for some of the year, they certainly make up for lost time in Autumn, and are included in garden designs primarily for their astonishing autumnal displays. As the berries are bitter, birds will only eat them if there is literally nothing else, which means you can use the foliage for beautiful, winter, floral displays.

As a medium-sized shrub growing to around 2.5 metres high, Callicarpa ‘Profusion’ is perfect for Cambridge’s urban gardens where it thrives in our sheltered conditions and well-drained soils.

Callicarpa ‘Profusion’ is widely available in UK nurseries, take a trip to Scotsdales or Simpsons Nursery in Fordham to find one near Cambridge.

If you’re thinking of a planting plan for next year then make sure to include Callicarpa for that pop of colour in your garden just when things start turning grey, or ask us to design a planting plan for you.

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