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American Beautyberry - Anyone grow them? Toplef10American Beautyberry - Anyone grow them? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

American Beautyberry - Anyone grow them? I22gcj10American Beautyberry - Anyone grow them? 14dhcg10

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American Beautyberry - Anyone grow them?

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American Beautyberry - Anyone grow them? Empty American Beautyberry - Anyone grow them?

Post  AtlantaMarie 2019-11-07, 02:33

During the medicinal herbs class I helped with this weekend, one of the plants our botanist found was American Beautyberry. I've seen beautiful jelly made with it, but not much else. Some of the research I've seen shows tick/ant/mosquito repellent features.

Does anyone grow it? What is your experience with it?

If anyone wants seeds, I've got some dried. Just pm me with your address. (It won't be many - the berries are quite small...)

This is from one of the articles I read:

Native Indians had many uses for the Beautyberry, among them: A decoction of the root bark as a diuretic; the leaves for dropsy; a tea from the roots for dysentery and stomach aches; A tea made from the roots and berries for colic; and, the leaves and roots in sweat baths for the treatment of malaria, rheumatism and fevers. This author can only speak to the use of berries in jelly, and leaves as an external mosquito repellent. However, a study published 6 Feb 2007 Journal of Natural Products suggests the C. Americana has anti-cancer potential.

Beautyberry Jelly

1 ½ qts. of Beautyberries, washed and clean of green stems and leaves. Cover with 2 qts. water.Boil 20 minutes and strain to make infusion. Use 3 cups of the infusion, bring to boil, add 1 envelope Sure-Jell and 4 ½ cups sugar. Bring to second boiland boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until foam forms. Skim off foam, pour into sterilized jars, cap. (NOTE FROM MARIE: Please be sure to process in a water bath properly.)

UPDATE: One of my students, Fred, does a lot of foraging and has lived his life in mosquito-ladened Florida. He reports: [Beautyberry’s] “jelly is awesome but I really love the beautyberry for its insect repellent properties. After learning about this from a Green Deane class and being an avid forager myself I decided to use the beautyberry as a bug repellent so it wouldn’t slow down my summer foraging (Florida summer mosquitoes can be horrible). I pretty much chopped up a plant(leaves and stems) and boiled it in a pot and let it cool and strained the brown liquid into my blender, about 1 1/2 cups. In a separate pot I warmed some organic neem oil (1 cup) with 1 ounce of beeswax until melted. Then you turn the blender on and pour in the oil mixture very slowly and it becomes a cream. I have to say hands down the best insect repellent ever! Because its a creme on july/august days one application is all you need for the entire day even when your sweating.”
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American Beautyberry - Anyone grow them? Empty Re: American Beautyberry - Anyone grow them?

Post  sanderson 2019-11-09, 01:35

Very interesting as a mosquito repellent, until it came to the part about adding Neem oil. Shocked

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Post  AtlantaMarie 2019-11-09, 04:19

Yeah, not thrilled about that one either. And that's an awful lot! I'd try maybe a tablespoon.
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Post  spturnip 2019-11-11, 03:25

Everywhere in their natural planting range, American beauty berry makes an attractive plant for your native landscape. Not only do the purple berries add a splash of color in winter, they provide a food source for some of the birds at a time of scarcity. I have several. They make a nice medium height filler for the planting beds.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 2019-11-12, 03:16

Hi spturnip. Welcome to our party from Atlanta, GA!! And thanks for the info.

Can you introduce yourself & your garden to us?
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American Beautyberry - Anyone grow them? Empty My Garden is a Native Plant Landscape plus 3 counter height raised beds

Post  spturnip 2019-11-12, 05:16

Hello SFG forum,

My name is Steve and I live in Central Florida inside a deed restricted community.  To reduce water and chemical use and support local wildlife, my 7,500 ft2 landscapable area is composed of all native plants (no turf), but yet is designed and maintained to be appropriate for the setting.  The landscape was featured on a local syndicated program called Flip My Florida Yard. See YouTube:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSC-nf__aNg 

For edibles I personally designed and constructed 3 counter-height raised beds compete with drip irrigation.  These beds are cast concrete that were custom poured by a local company that makes water fountains  (basically they are fountain basins internally coated with epoxy paint and tiled on the outside).  The basins have internal dimensions of 32" x 32" x 12" and are set atop large stacked landscape blocks to bright the height to 38".   These are the most expensive square feet in my landscape, but also serve as focal points / landscape features to provide visual interest.  They have served me well and I thoroughly enjoy using them to grow lettuces, kale, bok choy, green onions and chili peppers.  I also built an herb garden by attaching four 24" long window boxes to a wooden ladder.  This leans against the west side of the house and is also equipped with drip irrigation.  I grow basil, thyme, oregano and cilantro.  I also have a brown turkey fig tree and lemon tree in the landscape.

I hold a certification from the Univ of Florida Master Gardener program and am president of the local chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society.  fnps.org

Regards,
Steve
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Post  Scorpio Rising 2019-11-12, 15:23

Welcome Steve!  Glad you are here!  Sounds very cool as far as your set-up.

I have never heard of the Beautyberry!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 2019-11-12, 15:24; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Forgot the beautyberry.)
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Post  sanderson 2019-11-23, 15:53

SPturnip, Wow! I love your yard! The table top beds are so unique that even the harshest HOA would be hard put to criticize.

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