En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - March 23, 2010

From: Harmony, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Possible source for seeds of American beautyberry and Eastern sweetshrub
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a nursery growing native plants in North Carolina. I would like to find a source to purchase seed for the white berried American beauty berry and Calycanthus floridus athens, can you suggest a possible source?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has a National Suppliers Directory where you can search for nurseries, seed companies, landscape professionals and environmental specialists who specialize in native North American plants.  Many of these suppliers have websites that list the plants or seeds that they have for sale.  They all have some sort of contact information, if not websites. In fact, I was very happy to find the contact information for your nursery, Campbell Family Nursery, listed in our National Suppliers Directory as one of our Associates who offers a discount to members of the Wildflower Center.

If you search in our Native Plant Database pages for the two species you are looking for, Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) and Calycanthus floridus (eastern sweetshrub), you can find the DISTRIBUTION for the plants.  Those are the states you should concentrate on to look for suppliers of seeds or plants of the two species.  Additionally, on the pages for these plants there are sections called FIND SEEDS OR PLANTS and/or FROM THE NATIONAL SUPPLIERS DIRECTORY that offers sources for the plants or seeds. 

Finding the particular varieties that you are looking for, the white-berried American beautyberry (according to North Carolina State University, this variety is Callicarpa americana var. lactea) and the eastern sweetshrub 'Athens' cultivar (Calycanthus floridus 'Athens'), is probably going to require a bit of telephoning and/or e-mailing to other nurseries or some intensive "Googling".  

There are some important considerations about growing these two variaties from seeds that you should consider.  Neither the white-fruited Callicarpa americana nor Calycanthus floridus (with the desirable sweet fragrance) can be reliably propagated by seeds.  Both should be propagated by cuttings.  The white-fruited Beautyberry is just a chance variant.  It will not necessarily pass the gene for lack of magenta-colored pigment to the next generation.  In fact, in most cases, it will not. The fragrance of Sweetshrub is wonderful.  However, the fragrance of this species is highly variable from individual to individual with some plants producing no fragrance at all, others producing only slight fragrance and still others perfuming the air all around them.  Also, the characteristics of the fragrance varies widely with some plants producing a clean, sweet fragrance while others may have very spicy or heavily sweet odors.  The cultivar, C. floridus 'Athens' (more properly, C. floridus 'Katherine', named by Dr. Mike Dirr, Professor of Horticulture at the University of Georgia, for his daughter) is a yellow-flowered plant with good fragrance.  Neither the flower color, nor the fragrance will be stable generationally.  

 

More Shrubs Questions

Trees and shrubs that are not poisonous to horses
September 23, 2008 - What non poisonous trees or shrubs or hedges would work for being near horses?
view the full question and answer

Sun loving plants for flower bed by the pool in Weatherford Texas
October 03, 2011 - We have a 40' long x 2 1/2' wide flowerbed along our pool. It is in full sun with the pool deck across the front and a 6' privacy fence across back. Also, the level of the bed is 18" below the l...
view the full question and answer

Plantings for a slope from New Carrollton MD
June 27, 2012 - My house (Maryland, near DC) sits at the bottom of a south facing slope. The soil is very heavy clay. The grade is about 1:20 for about 100 feet (with a steeper part at the top). Part of the hill is i...
view the full question and answer

Need for smaller tree with less invasive roots from Ft. Worth TX
June 07, 2014 - The sycamore in the front yard has developed roots larger than the branches. They have decided that the water and sewer lines are perfect to acquire their water from. For this reason it will be coming...
view the full question and answer

Do Deer Eat Orchid Trees?
March 08, 2013 - I have planted three anacacho orchid trees, however we have a lot of deer around us. Is this a tree they will want to eat? Do you have any ideas to keep deer away?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center