Plant of the week- Callicarpa bodinieri var giraldii ‘ Profusion’

This weeks plant of the week is once more mainly planted for its berries and is commonly called the ‘Beauty Berry’ for this reason. The stunning purple berries hang on the plant for a great deal of the winter, all for us to enjoy

This beautiful shrub is a native of China, mainly around the provinces of Szechwan, Hupeh and Shensi. It was first discovered by the famous plant hunter, Augustine Henry in around 1887 but it wasn’t until the late 1890’s that the German missionary Giraldi collected seed and sent it back to Hess’s Nursery in Germany, that it reached Europe. Hess sold the plants as giraldii but sadly the name wasn’t published until much later, after the name bodinieri had been given to this species. However var giraldii does differ from the bulk of C.bodinieri as the undersides of the leaves are less hairy and silvery. It reaches 6 to 9ft over a number of years, it’s leaves are a mid green colour on top with a slightly silver side underneath. The small white flowers are borne in the summer and really aren’t something you would notice but it’s the shining purple berries that really highlight this plant to us, these purple berries are one of the longest berries to stay on any plants, helped by their very bitter taste that puts the wildlife off until there’s nothing else to eat.

It is an easy plant to look after as well, it is happy to grow on most aspects including north facing sites, it does prefer to be in a sunny or semi shaded spot. It is happy in most types of soil as long as it is fertile and not water logged, not fussy whether it’s acidic or alkaline, clay or sand, all it needs is a good humus soil, so well worth mulching it with garden produced compost and also feed it with Vitax Q4 fertiliser in the spring it also requires very little pruning, just a little bit of shaping and dead wood removal. Easy to propagate from soft wood or semi hardwood cuttings. Also it has very few pests attacking it! In all, it does make it a very useful plant indeed!

It’s pretty well widely sold and grown in gardens, so should be easy to buy and see.

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. After reading this I am going to investigate this plant. I love purple in the garden and salvia Amistad will soon be over so some more purple for next year would be great.

    1. thomashort says:

      It’s well worth a look, it’s one of those plants that doesn’t need much care and just looks beautiful😀

  2. Tracey Abrahams says:

    Purple is my favourite colour, so im always keen to introduce it into my garden where I can x

    1. thomashort says:

      If you buy one, let me know how you get on with it 👍

  3. tonytomeo says:

    We can only get those by mail order. I do not even know how happy they would be here.

  4. BrittanyGirl says:

    I have collected some berries from Callicarpa bodinieri “Profusion” and wonder what my best chances are of getting seedlings from them?

    1. thomashort says:

      It’s a stunning plant isn’t
      They will germinate but sadly the chances will be that is not profusion that comes up, cultivars are propagated by cuttings or grafting so they stay same to type, seedling will come up not true to type, you may get a better form or a not so good form
      Enjoy what comes up and that’s part of the fun of gardening isnt

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