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Monday - May 28, 2007

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Groundcovers, Shrubs
Title: Coexistence of rubus trivialis and American beautyberry
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I'm growing some rubus trivialis in a 1-gal. pot and plan to plant it this fall. Will this dewberry coexist with American beautyberry, or must it have its own space entirely? If it needs its own space, how much space does it need? If planted along the foundation, will rainfall runoff be enough for it, or does it really need to be in the floodplain? That's where it occurs in Pflugerville. I was thinking of putting it in bright shade/partial sun along the east side of my house, as ground cover around some beautyberry. Alternatively I could put it near the creek in the greenbelt directly behind my house but would have to protect it from the HOA's "mowheads," who have wiped out all the wildlife habitat along that stretch of the creek. It's been in a pot for about a month and seems to be doing fine with the spring rainfall. I rustled a few stems from a neighborhood that has the sense to leave their creekside wild.

ANSWER:

I'm assuming that the Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is already in place on the east side of your house in bright shade to partial sun, and is doing all right. The beautyberry can grow in sun to partial shade, can tolerate full sun with supplemental watering and needs dry to moist soil. Rubus trivialis (southern dewberry) requires well-drained, moist soil, and can grow in semi-shade to full sun, but requires a well-drained, moist soil. So, it would appear they could co-exist in the same bed, with perhaps a little more water than the Beautyberry requires in order to satisfy the needs of the Dewberry. Whether the Dewberry will serve as a ground cover for the Beautyberry is a matter of personal preference. The Dewberry has long, stiff, thorny canes (in the Rosaceae family) and might not be tame enough for a ground cover, per se. Certainly, it appears the Dewberry would do well in the nearby greenbelt creek, and it wouldn't be very easy to mow, but could certainly be damaged if your "mowheads" are determined enough.

 

 

 

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