I’ve always loved the American Beautyberry plant (Callicarpa americana), not just because it produces beautiful purple berries in the fall, but because every bird and critter that moves through my yard love to munch on those berries. Being a wildlife lover, I appreciate any plant that attracts more wildlife.
Beautyberry is a native plant that requires absolutely no additional care in my yard.
BUT, I’m starting to appreciate the beautyberry plant for a whole new reason….it’s ability to help repel mosquitoes.
I had heard about the mosquito repelling qualities of beautyberry long before I finally gave it a try. But for the last week or so, I’ve been using it when I go outside in the evenings.
I pull a few leaves off of a plant and crush the leaf and roll it on my arms and legs. I can honestly say that I have seen a drastic reduction in the number of mosquito bites.
Studies by the USDA Agriculture Research Service have concluded that the compound found in these plants – “callicarpenal” – may be as effective as DEET in warding off moquitoes.
If you don’t have any beautyberry plants on your property, I encourage you to get one or two. Do it for the critters that love them (birds and more), the critters that hate them (mosquitoes!), or just for yourself. Every garden can use a little more purple!
For more information: Folk Remedy Yields Mosquito-Thwarting Compound