The bright purple berries are strikingly beautiful. When it's blooming the neighbors stop to ask about it. In summer the leafy open pattern provides shade for part-sun plants. They grow best under larger trees and are a lovely welcome along the walk to the shadier part of the garden. These are 15 years old and are about six feet tall now with a few trims over the years. They are very drought tolerant, although in last year's extreme drought they didn't look as good as in the past.
Callicarpa americana is deciduous and the branches are quite bare after the birds and deer have stripped all the berries so they work best against an evergreen background.
Just in case you think we forgot to rake the leaves, the leaves in this area intentionally remain where they fall as a natural plant mulch.
As soon as the berries begin to form, the birds, especially Cardinals and Mockingbirds, gather in the nearby shrubs and wait. They test the the berries each day and devour the ripe ones until they are all gone. The berries are safe for humans as well and are used to make jellies. Herb tea is made from the root and the leaves are said to ward off mosquitoes and flies.