A member of the Verbena family, American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), also called “French Mulberry” by some, is a deciduous, perennial native shrub growing up to 6 feet wide and almost as tall. One of the most eye-catching plants at this time of year, it’s the purple berries that draw people’s attention rather than the palest of pink flowers in spring & early summer. The flowers are approximately ¼ inch wide, and the berries are not much bigger than that when formed in late summer. The berries hold their bright color for many weeks, even after the leaves are gone, usually until a good frost has occurred.
American Beautyberry is one of the favorite forage plants for whitetail deer in the Oak Prairie Region of Texas. Check out the link on the ORWMA “Groups” tab above, and click on Deer, then “Links for Managing Whitetails”, click on “Favorite Forage Plants of Whitetail Deer” to learn about other favorite plants for deer in this area.While the deer enjoy the leaves, several species of birds enjoy the berries in the fall & winter, such as Bobwhite Quail, Robins and even domestic chickens.
What beauty is added to our landscapes when most others have stopped blooming in late summer and fall while adding to beneficial food sources for both deer and birds! The berries on their long stems also make beautiful dried fall decorations in our homes (but please take care to keep them away from children). Click on the following link to find out more on this wonderful plant: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CAAM2.
All life must have water to survive. Like many of these pictured here, the wildlife hidden in this beautiful Oak Prairie region of Texas will take water where they can find it.
Be sure to clean your water containers at least once a week such as stock tanks for large animals. Even our bird baths need to be kept clean and filled with fresh water during these hot summer days. Water is truly the basic need for all types of wildlife. Let’s help out our wildlife by providing clean water where we can during this season.
If you’re planning on spring mowing on your property, be careful to watch out for fawns a doe may have hidden in the tall grass while she eats. This little guy in the picture was still wet from birth when we happened on him during a hike of our place. New life! What a beautiful thing to behold this time of year! And don’t forget those moms need a little extra protein during this season to help keep them healthy while nursing those little ones.