Berry good year

EDP Norfolk - - Garden Guide -

It seems to have been an ex­cel­lent late sum­mer and au­tumn for fruit­ing plants. Hawthorns and co­toneast­ers have been look­ing par­tic­u­larly splen­did this year, drip­ping with berries. Callicarpa, one of the more un­usual fruit­ing plants, is still be­jew­elled with berries bring­ing a splash of colour to the shrub bor­der.

One of the best and most pop­u­lar va­ri­eties is Callicarpa bo­d­inieri ‘Pro­fu­sion’. This medi­um­sized de­cid­u­ous shrub has at­trac­tive bronzy­pur­ple spring fo­liage with pan­i­cles of small lilac-pur­ple flow­ers in sum­mer fol­lowed in au­tumn by eye-catch­ing pur­ple berries which of­ten hang on the plant into win­ter. Callicarpa di­chotoma is an­other at­trac­tive shrub bear­ing its laven­der pink flow­ers on arch­ing branches in sum­mer fol­lowed by masses of lilac-pur­ple berries in au­tumn.

For white berries Callicarpa japon­ica ‘Leu­co­carpa’ is well worth a try; it has pale pinky-white flow­ers in sum­mer fol­lowed by masses of ivory white berries in au­tumn. The leaves of cal­li­carpas also have tints of yel­low and bronze in au­tumn be­fore fall­ing.

Cal­li­carpas are best planted in small groups to en­sure good pol­li­na­tion and lots of berries; plant in well-drained, mod­er­ately fer­tile neu­tral to acid soil in sun or par­tial shade. Plant­ing in soil which is too al­ka­line may cause fo­liage to turn yel­low. Any prun­ing should be car­ried out just as the buds are swelling in early spring as cal­li­carpas flower and berry on the new sea­son’s growth.

Callicarpa di­chotoma

Callicarpa bo­d­inieri ‘Pro­fu­sion’

Callicarpa japon­ica ‘Leu­co­carpa’

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