The second shrub interplanted with those Winterberries we showed yesterday was this Purple Beautyberry, Callicarparpa dichotoma. Miz Flora was a bit more excited when I showed her these photos, and almost decided to go look for herself.
“But it’s too darned cold for us old squirrels,” she said.
Why did she even consider it then? She’s partial to purple. She was even willing to ignore that is a Far East cultivar of the native American Beautyberry, which has red berries. I figured some of our human readers may share these sentiments; we have heard of whole gardens being planted in certain colors, which makes no sense to squirrels whatsoever!
But no matter that these berries are purple, birds still eat them as an emergency food source in the worst winter weather, after their preferred berries are gone.
One note from our research Miz Flora asked me to include: the American Beautyberry leaves seem to work as an insect repellant. Check out this article from Mother Earth News that tells about it. We squirrels are in favor of our human neighbors using something besides that smelly spray.