Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) growing next to corn (Zea mays): two very tasty plants!
This corn was planted by Terry Davis from seed kept in his family for 100 years.Continue reading
Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, proven insect repellant!
Barbara Pleasant wrote for Mother Earth News April/May 2009, Beautyberry Banishes Bad Biting Bugs: Researches are finding evidence that beautyberry, long used as a folk remedy, really does deter bugs such as ants, ticks and others.
In 2006, researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Products Utilization Research Unit in Oxford, Miss., found that extracts from beautyberry leaves could match DEET for repelling mosquitoes. The next year, experiments showed that the active ingredients from the leaves (callicarpenal and intermedeol) provided 100-percent repellency of black-legged ticks for three hours. In 2008, the four-person research team, headed by chemist Charles Cantrell in Mississippi and entomologist Jerome Klun in Maryland, published research that added fire ants to the list of pests repelled by essential oil distilled from beautyberry leaves….
Fresh green leaves, crushed and rubbed on people or pets, often repel insects for a couple of hours.
Growing along the stems of a green-smelling bush: Continue reading
Further, William Bartram did mention it in his Travels of 1791, as French mulberry. Curiously, even though Google books does have Bartram’s book, ngrams doesn’t seem to show French mulberry for that date, but does show American mulberry. Even more curious, William Bartram’s father, John Bartram, corresponded with Linnaeus, the founder of modern botanical terminology.
The currently most popular name is beautyberry, which turns out to be related to the scientific genus name, Callicarpa: Greek kalli means beautiful, and Karpos means fruit.
The plant has all sorts of uses: Continue reading
Anyway, comparing the common name beautyberry to the scientific name Callicarpa americana, it seems that the “common” name is much newer, at least in books.
So first you pick and cook the beautyberries, then you strain them and cook them again, and finally, you can them in jars, as you can see Gretchen doing in the video linked through the little picture to the right.
Here is one batch of beautyberry jelly jars:
Pictures and preserving of beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, by Gretchen Quarte rman, Lowndes County, Georgia, 17 Oct 2010
First get it nice and bubbling.
To be continued….
Straining and cooking of Callicarpa americana by Gretchen Quarterman, Lowndes County, Georgia, 16 Oct 2010.
First, find some ripe ones:
Pick them and wash them:
And boil them:
To be continued….
Pictures of Callicarpa americana, Lowndes County, Georgia, 12 Oct 2010, as well as picking, cooking, by Gretchen Quarterman.
This is Elsie’s 100th year: Continue reading