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
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 Shrubs Questions

Thoughts on non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
January 01, 2014 - I would like to know your thoughts on growing Italian Cypress trees in Austin Texas? We are looking to create a privacy screen(and prepared to pay more for mature trees to cut down the wait to grow...
view the full question and answer

Sumacs under live oaks dying in Austin
August 08, 2010 - Converted my yard to native plants last fall. All of the fragrant and evergreen sumacs are dying off one by one - they have never thrived. I ensure they get a good soaking at least once a week. I w...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with red berries in Florida
April 22, 2008 - I purchased a plant/shrub at a yard sale in central Fl. They told me it was a native plant. It looks like a holly with the red berries but the leaves are not like a holly. They were all over the yar...
view the full question and answer

Planting Texas Mountain Laurel seeds in Horse Shoe Bay,TX
July 09, 2012 - I have harvested Texas Mountain Laurel pods and extracted the seeds from the pods. The seeds are characteristic red/orange/maroon. When is the best time and best method to introduce seeds into pots? ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of white flowering bush with lovely scent
May 17, 2015 - Please identify the sweet smelling white flowering bush/tree blooming now,May, in western Massachusetts. The flowers are tiny 4(?) petals in small clusters. The scent is wonderful.
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