SREL Reprint #1969





American Beautyberry for Borrow Pit Reclamation in South Carolina

Trials produced good results after three years

Harris Martin and Gary Sick

American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is a hardy, drought-tolerant shrub native to the southeastern United States from southern Maryland west to Tennessee and Oklahoma, south to Texas, Mexico, Florida, and the West Indies (Dirr, 1990; Foote and Jones, 1989; Radford et al., 1968). It is most common in the sandy lowlands of the southeastern Coastal Plain (Radford et al., 1968). In Florida and adjacent states it is a "characterizing" shrub of the upland hardwood hammock plant association that is common over large areas of north and central Florida, southern Alabama and Georgia, and coastal areas of the Carolinas. ("Characterizing," according to the Soil Conservation Service, means that "this species so commonly occurs in a community that you would expect to see it there at most locations supporting that community" (Soil Conservation Service, 1989).) The upland hardwood hammock is a climax community with high species-diversity where few pines occur and hardwood trees dominate (Gano, 1917; Soil Conservation Service, 1989). Two associations at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina where our project was conducted are upland hardwood hammocks-the white oak-dogwood-pipsissewa and the white oak-post oak forest communities (Jones et al., 1981). Beautyberry also grows in the longleaf pine/turkey-oak sand-hill association, in mixed hardwood and pine forests, in south Florida flatwoods, in cabbage palm flatwoods, and in wetland hardwood hammock plant communities in Florida and adjacent states (Soil Conservation Service, 1989). These diverse forest types provide a wide variety of feeding, nesting, and escape habitats for several animal species (Gilbert and Stout, 1983).

SREL Reprint #1969

Martin, H. and G. Sick. 1995. American beautyberry for borrow pit reclamation in South Carolina. Restoration and Management Notes. Vol. 13 (Summer 1995):90-97. Reprinted by permission of The University of Wisconsin.

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