Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Callicarpa americana L.
- Family: Vervain (Verbenaceae)
- Flowering: June-July
- Field Marks: This shrub is recognized by its opposite, glandular-dotted, toothed leaves and
brilliant violet-blue fruits.
- Habitat: Wet to dry soils in woodlands, thickets, fencerows, and rights-of-way.
- Habit: Shrub up to 9 feet tall.
- Stems: Woody, more or less hairy when young, much branched.
- Leaves: Opposite, sometimes 3 at a node, simple, ovate, pointed at the tip, narrowed to the
base, toothed except near the base, usually smooth at maturity, thin, glandular-dotted, up to 6
inches long, up to 3 inches wide.
- Flowers: Many arranged in cymes, on very short stalks, growing around the stem at the petiole
- Sepals: 4, united, very short.
- Petals: 4, united below, funnel-shaped, pale blue, pinkish or white, up to 1/6 inch long.
- Stamens: 4, exserted beyond the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; style long-exserted.
- Fruits: Fleshy, spherical, up to 1/4 inch in diameter, violet-blue, usually densely clustered, each
containing 1-4 nutlets.
- Notes: This handsome shrub is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
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