Backyard Nature Wednesday: Two beautyberries

I have two varieties of beautyberry in my garden.

The purple variety, which is the kind that is seen in Nature.

And a white cultivar.

Now, in past years, I have found that the birds in my yard generally wait until a bit later to start hitting the beautyberries for their daily snacks. They would usually exhaust the softer elderberries and the pokeberries which I also have in my garden before they started on the beautyberries. The beautyberry is a harder fruit and it will last longer on the shrub, right into winter. That's mostly when I've noticed birds eating them in past years. But this must be a particularly delicious year for these berries because the birds are already devouring them with great relish.

Also, in the past, the birds usually started with the white berries and stripped all of them before they moved on to the purple. Not this year. They are showing a distinct preference for the purple. Mockingbirds, robins, cardinals, grackles, even wrens and chickadees have been observed eating them. So far, I haven't noticed a single bird eating the white berries.

But they sure love the purple ones! Especially the mockingbirds.

And the robins.

I don't think these berries are going to last until winter this year.


  1. Everything you said echoes my experience, including the inference that every year is different.

    Love the photos in this post too.

    1. Nature always surprises us, doesn't it, Kathleen?

  2. I've never heard of Beautyberries before Dorothy, I wonder if they have another name here in the UK? They certainly look lovely though.

    1. Beautyberry is a native American shrub, but there may well be a related plant that grows in the UK. Through much of the year, the shrubs are not particularly eye-catching but once the berries mature, they are quite striking in appearance. Until the birds strip all those berries...

  3. I love beautyberries. The purple-berry variety is one of the first things I planted in my new garden. I've always been hesitant to grow the white-berried plant, fearing the birds would ignore it. Now, you have taught me that they usually enjoy the white berries. Do you imagine that this year they will go for those once they've devoured all of the purple?
    Also, thank you for sharing the photos of those lucky, well-fed birds! Awesome!

    1. I'm sure the hungry birds will eventually get around to the white berries as well. By the end of winter, there will be no berry undevoured in my yard!


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