En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 with non-invasive roots or tops in Newhall CA
November 07, 2011 - We would like to plant a tree with noninvasive roots near our garden wall and concrete driveway in a grassy area in the front yard facing west. This spot is very sunny in the afternoon with automatic ...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for landscaping along a creek in Lenoir, NC
July 25, 2011 - I live in Lenoir, NC and would like to landscape my creek bank that is about 90 feet long and is 200 feet from my house. I thought about evergeen bushes maybe rhododendron; some grasses; a few trees ...
view the full question and answer

Mystery shrub in Michigan
July 18, 2011 - I live in the upper peninsula of Michigan and noticed a shrub in the woods that has large clusters of small red, what I would call berries on it. Can you give me some n...
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs for adobe soil in Penngrove CA
June 19, 2010 - Hi, I'd like to find a list of trees that are native, drought tolerant and suitable to the adobe soil in Penngrove. We will be landscaping a bare .5 acre parcel starting later this fall. Another fea...
view the full question and answer

Controlling scale insects on hollies
July 10, 2005 - I have a number of holly shrubs at the side of my house. Recently I noticed that they have tiny white spots on them. I looked at several native Texas gardening books, but can't find what I need to t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center