Callicarpa

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Lamiales
Familia: Verbenaceae
Genus: Callicarpa
Species: C. acuminata - C. americana - C. ampla - C. bodinieri - C. brevipetiolata - C. cathayana - C. cumingiana - C. dichotoma - C. formosana - C. japonica - C. kochiana - C. longissima - C. macrophylla - C. mollis - C. nudiflora - C. pedunculata - C. pentandra - C. rubella - C. tomentosa - C. tosaensis - C. vestita

Name

Callicarpa L.

Vernacular names

Beautyberry (Callicarpa) is a genus of shrubs and small trees in the family Verbenaceae[1][2][3]; between 40-150 species are accepted by different botanists. They are native to east and southeast Asia (where the majority of the species occur), Australia, southeast North America and Central America.


Growth

The temperate species are deciduous, the tropical species evergreen. The leaves are simple, opposite, and 5–25 cm long. The flowers are in clusters, white to pinkish. The fruit is a berry, 2–5 mm diameter and pink to red-purple with a highly distinctive metallic lustre, are very conspicuous in clusters on the bare branches after the leaves fall. The berries last well into the winter or dry season and are an important survival food for birds and other animals, though they will not eat them until other sources are depleted. The berries are highly astringent but are made into wine and jelly. Callicarpa species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Endoclita malabaricus and Endoclita undulifer.

Species
Flowers.

American Beautyberry Callicarpa americana is native to the southeastern United States. It can typically reach 1 to 2 meters in height. A jelly can be made from its ripe berries.

Bodinier's Beautyberry Callicarpa bodinieri, native to west-central China (Sichuan, Hubei, Shaanxi), is more cold-tolerant than C. americana, and is the species most widely cultivated in northwestern Europe. It can reach 3 meters tall.

Japanese Beautyberry Callicarpa japonica, native to Japan, is also cultivated in gardens. It is called Murasakishikibu in Japanese, in honor of Murasaki Shikibu.

Chemical constituents

The discovery and use of callicarpenal has been patented by the United States Department of Agriculture Agriculture Research Service as a mosquito repellent.[4] Four chemicals have been isolated that appear to be the active ingredients; borneol,[5] callicarpenal, intermedeol, and spathulenol.

Uses

Insect repellent

American beautyberry or Callicarpa americana has been found to be a natural insect repellent. It has been found to be repellent to mosquitoes, which can carry yellow fever and malaria, as well as the tick, which carries Lyme disease.

Wine uses

It has also been used to produce wine.


References

^ "Angiosperm Phylogeny Website - Lamiales". Missouri Botanical Garden.
^ "GRIN Taxonomy for Plants - Callicarpa". United States Department of Agriculture.
^ Heywood, V.H., Brummitt, R.K., Culham, A. & Seberg, O. 2007: Flowering Plant Families of the World. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
^ "Learning from our elders: Folk Remedy Yields Mosquito-Thwarting Compound". Agricultural Research (Agricultural Research Service). February 6.
^ "Species Information". sun.ars-grin.gov. Retrieved 2008-03-02.

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