Jams, Jellies… & Mosquito Repellant? From the same plant? Yes, we’re talking about NATIVE BEAUTYBERRY.
Beauty Berry (Callicarpa americana) is an edible Florida native plant found all over untouched natural areas in Florida. The berries are edible but don’t have much flavor due to the lack of sugars (Chickens do love them). Yesterday I was so excited, I thought I discovered one that was much sweeter and tasted amazing! Only to my own disappointment, I remembered eating a Miracle Fruit about 20 minutes earlier. 🤔
These sure do look like nature’s candy of the woods!
What’s most interesting about this plant is the leaves contain a terpenoid compound called callicarpenal and intermedeol. These compounds are stronger than DEET as natural bug spray. Pretty cool, right?
Beautyberry, or Callicarpa americana, is a gorgeous Florida Native that is entirely worthy of its name when the berries ripen in early fall (zones 7-11). Not only does it add beautiful color to the landscape, but it also somewhat useful. It has long been used to make a brightly colored jam or jelly, because of it’s natural pectin content, but the chemical compounds (callicarpenal and intermedeol) contained in its leaves have lately been proving to be even more effective than DEET when processed adequately through a distillation process.
If you would like to learn more about Beautyberry:
Mother Earth News Article – https://goo.gl/3gN5M4
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