At first sight the Callicarpa is a fascinating little bush, but in the late fall this shrub showed off a different side. The plant gets a nice autumn coloring and it is one of the few butts still in the winter can bring some color in the garden.
The Callicarpa belong to the family of the verbenaceae. In Dutch, this plant is often called clean fruit because of the beautiful color of the berries.
This inconspicuous shrub can grow up to two meters. The Callicarpa has relatively few branches and is therefore a rather open plant.
The Callicarpa is native to central and western China.
The plant requires a stand in humus-rich, well-drained soil; in sun or partial shade. A too calcareous soil should be avoided, but also maintains the plant no demands. Callicarpa is less suitable to use as a solitary because it has outside the fruit, little in the eye-catching features. Planting multiple copies directed generally to a better fruiting. With prolonged drought that the plant should get extra water but otherwise this little care. It is a good hardy plant, only the young shoots may freeze burden. If this happens to be pruned away the withered branches in spring. To use this in a border is one plant per m² is sufficient.
It is a deciduous shrub that until quite late in the autumn keep its leaves. The leaves have a nice autumn colors are opposite and up to 20 cm. They are oblong to oval in shape, with an olive green color.
Callicarpa blooms with small, inconspicuous blue white to pink flowers that stand together in clusters. The individual flowers are no larger than five millimeters and are visible from June to August. The berries develop in whorled clusters and its first inconspicuous gray. In early December, the berries get their typical metallic violet color and cling to the bush until mid-February. The fruits will really stand out as the leaves have fallen and because they are not eaten by birds they linger all winter.
The pruning is only necessary to keep the plant in shape. This can best be done in the spring when the frost has passed. To rejuvenate the shrub can be pruned off old branches, but never too much at once. Broken branches should definitely be removed to prevent infection or putrefaction. Callicarpa blooms on young wood so pruning can stimulate flowering and berry formation.
Is not susceptible to diseases.
The plant is because of the decorative berries very suitable to be used in floral arrangements. The stems can best be cut off when there has been a first light frosts in November. Too early cut of the branches, the fruit will fall off quickly or shrivel. When decorating the stems can also be plugged into a vase, they remain a couple of weeks. Can be propagated by cuttings or discard.
Certainly there are 50 varieties known throughout the world. The most common in our region are the following:
Callicarpa bodinieri Profussion ?? ??: purple and slightly larger fruits
Callicarpa bodinieri giraldii ?? ??: very dark violet berries
Callicarpa dichotoma: deep purple berries, is the smallest variety.
Callicarpa japonica Angustifolia ?? ??: longer narrower leaves, has a slow growth rate.