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
1 rating

Thursday - March 22, 2012

From: Titusville, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Edible Plants, Shrubs
Title: Is the fruit of American Beautyberry (French Mulberry) edible?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to find out if the "American Beautyberry" or "French Mulberry" fruit is edible? Can you tell me? Your website's information about this plant has been the most informative information I've come across. Thanks for your website.

ANSWER:

We have had other inquiries that concern the edibility of Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) so I am going to refer you to those questions and Mr. Smarty Plants answers:

  1. Can beautyberries be used to make jelly...?
  2. Are berries of American Beautyberry poisonous?

Here is what Delena Tull in Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest says about eating American beautyberry:

"I have found several sources stating that the fruit is safe to eat, and several stating that it is inedible....I have talked to one woman who reported feeling slight nausea after eating beauty-berry jelly.  Personally, I discourage its use for food.  The raw fruit has an unpleasant flavor."

According to Charles Allen in Edible Plants of the Gulf South.  Allen's Native Ventures (2005):

"The fruits are edible and the later in the season the better.   The taste is sweet with an aromatic hint and perhaps could be made into a pie or jelly."

 

From the Image Gallery


American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

More Edible Plants Questions

Information on edible tubers of hog potato from Austin
November 10, 2011 - I inquired a while back about hog potato or Hoffmannseggia glauca. You gave me some information on the plant but no information on when the plant produces the edible tubers. Also how long does it take...
view the full question and answer

Edible plants in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania
March 02, 2014 - Hi again! Thanks for answering my one question. I have another though. Do you know of any edible plants with no nasty side effects ( like stomach aches or being nauseous) that grow in Lycoming County ...
view the full question and answer

Coexistence of rubus trivialis and American beautyberry
May 28, 2007 - 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 sp...
view the full question and answer

Effects of Hedysarum mackenzii from Pflugerville TX
May 08, 2013 - What are the effects of Hedysarum mackenzii?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants wild sweet pea
July 28, 2005 - We were asked if the seed pods of the wild sweet pea are edible. (California)
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center