The shrub was given to me, dug up from a friend's garden that required space for other plants. The tiny white blooms are pleasant, and the big, bright green leaves are nice, but my favorite part of the year with my American beautyberry is autumn when it boasts these vibrant, purple berries.
I had big plans to dye yarn with them this year, but have found mixed reviews about whether or not the purple pigment from the fruit's outer coating is actually released or if the neutral toned flesh inside dictates the resulting hue. Fact sheets about Callicarpa indicate that the berries have been used to extract a purple dye for fabric. I have found little online about actual experiences with using the berries for dye, and one of the accounts I came across indicated that it was a bit of a disappointment. With that in mind, I've decided to defer to next year.
My beautyberry is one of my favorite plants, and I can't bring myself to strip the branches of their ornamentation - especially when I'm so close to adding it to my own landscape! Upon moving into the new house, I do plan to propagate some new plants from seed to plant around the yard, so next year I should have enough that I won't miss them. Do you have any experience with using this species to dye with?