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CALLICARPA DICH. 'DUET' 03-07-13Today’s Special is our  ‘Duet’ Beautyberry. These are growing in 2.5 inch containers and are 6 to 10 inches tall with a well-formed root system and nicely branched for $4.37 each.

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best flowering and fruiting is in full sun. Best variegated foliage is in light shade. Stems can become leggy in too much shade. Some tolerance for drought. Flowers bloom on new wood. Prune as needed in early spring. Most gardeners prefer to prune stems back to 6″ in late winter to early spring each year. Such hard pruning tends to promote shrub compactness and good flowering. In harsh USDA Zone 5 winters, stems may die back to the ground in winter with new growth emerging from the roots in spring. Best cross-pollination and resultant fruit production occur when shrubs are planted in groups or massed.

‘Duet’ is a white beautyberry cultivar that features a showy autumn display of white berry-like fruits on a rounded shrub clad with white-margined medium green leaves. This is reportedly the first stable variegated beautyberry. It is an upright-rounded, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 4-6′ tall with a slightly wider spread. White flowers bloom along the stems in early summer (June-August). Flowers are followed by fleshy, globe-shaped, white, berry-like fruits that mature in expanded axillary clusters along the stems in fall. The berries are very attractive at the peak of ripeness (October), and blend well with the variegated elliptic to ovate-elliptic leaves (to 3″ long). Fruits are attractive to birds. Albifructus comes from the Latin words for white (albus) and fruit (fructus) in obvious reference to fruit color. Zones 5 to 8.