I was mesmerized by these gorgeous berries the other day when I visited Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) certainly lives up to its name! Appropriately, the name is not yummy berry since the fruit is tart and astringent.
The berries are eaten by birds in the fall (after other food sources have dwindled) while the foliage is browsed by deer. The roots and leaves were used medicinally by Native Americans and the berries can be made into jelly (add enough sugar and anything tastes good).