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Wine Spritzer™ Beautyberry is the Toast of the Town

Author: Geri Laufer   | October 9, 2012

Wine Spritzer™ Beautyberry is the spectacular new variegated beautyberry with dazzling leaves that are heavily speckled and splashed with green and cream on wine-colored stems. 

Beautyberry has rough or coarse leaves and rough stems similar to its close relative Lantana, also in the Verbena Family. In the case of Wine Spritzer™ the large leaves are almost white with green speckles and are the ornamental feature of this new introduction. The leaves look like they have been heavily painted or “spritzed” and in autumn the cream and green leaves turn yellow and green.

 

Slender branches arch gracefully on this Asian beauty and in summer tiny, pollen-laden, pink to pale-lavender flowers appear in the axils of the opposite leaves, appealing to butterflies and bees. Wine Spritzer™ is not a prolific bloomer or fruit setter. The foliage carries the full burden of beauty and interest, and it does it very well indeed. When berries do appear, they persist as a late-season fruiting food source for birds after other berries are gone. Mature berries are not damaged by frost.  

This moderate to vigorous growing shrub matures at 5-6 feet tall with a slightly larger spread. Wine Spritzer™ is cold hardy to USDA Zones 5-8, since the species is more cold tolerant than species native to the southeastern U.S. Wine Spritzer™ Beautyberry prefers well-drained soil, and color is terrific in sun to partial shade.

 

Use Wine Spritzer™ as a specimen in the landscape for the outstanding variegated leaves, also perfect for mass plantings or screens. Multiple plants in close proximity will boost berry production. Shrub size can be controlled with yearly pruning in late winter; The Manuel of Woody Landscape Plants recommends cutting beautyberry to the ground before growth begins to take full advantage of vigorous leaves on new growth.

 

An interesting but little-known fact about beautyberry; modern research by Ag Research Services of the U.S.D.A. has substantiated the “old mouse’s tale” that rubbing beautyberry leaves on human skin or on animals is an effective repellent against mosquitoes and ticks.  

 

For more information on Wine Spritzer™ Beautyberry and other Great New Plants™ from Garden Debut®, visit www.gardendebut.com.

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