« Unexpected | Main | The Gifts of Autumn #12: A little bit of pink »


Beautyberry, startlingly colourful, I think of them as December's lilacs.

Reader Comments (10)

Serendipitously, I saw these when we had lunch at Petersham Nurseries a couple of weeks ago. And I've been kicking myself since for forgetting to check what they were called, so thank for filling in that blank for me!

You're right, they're completely stunning, especially for this time of year. Is it just me or do they look like little sweeties?

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

no doubt highly poisonous, but they look delish!

beautiful photo - very lilac-like.

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

Hello, Sophie. I do love serendipity. It often leads to better things than searching with intention. So glad I could ID the plant for you. Are "sweeties" a candy in the UK? I don't think I've seen them in Canada. Now I'm curious.

Hello, Lucy. I agree -- one should be cautious before sampling any berries. I did a quick check and the good news is:

"These shimmering fruits are drupes rather than true berries; they are not regarded as edible, though they are not toxic. They taste bad enough even deer dislike them, & they aren't particularly fond of the pungent leaves either. The bad taste means the gorgeous berries are apt to last quite long into winter, though when there are no more food options in the landscape, birds or deer may finally get 'round to them" (Paghat's Garden).

December 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterElaine

Wow. such a striking shade of purple. You've captured them so beautifully.

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise | Chez Danisse

Thank you, Denise. These berries certainly are a striking colour. Yesterday I went for a seawall walk to view another specimen and also stumbled upon some late blooming French (Spanish) Lavender growing below them. Not what I expected to see in December. I love these surprises.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

Really really beautiful!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOrchidea

I have never seen this before. I think I would stop dead in my tracks, just like I did when viewing your photograph. Thanks for continuing to share your beautiful world on your blog. I always look forward to my time spent with you here. :-) Diana

December 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Dyer

Thank you, Orchidea. I look forward to visiting you on your food and photography blogs this weekend for some tasty inspiration.

Yes, Diana, these berries also stop me in my tracks as well as act like a magnet. There are several specimens growing along the seawall, about a 30 minute walk from my place. I walked the same path three days in a row so I could view them. Thanks for your lovely comment. I know I'll find what I need today (inspiration and encouragement) on your blog so as soon as the workday commitments are met, I'm settling in at your farm for a good visit.

December 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterElaine

Hi Elaine, sweeties is a generic term in the UK, rather than a brand, so I think it's probably our equivalent of candies. In the same way we have biscuits rather than cookies. You wouldn't think it was all the same language :-)

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

Hi, Sophie. Yes, the differences between UK & Canadian English are intriguing as well as a source of confusion. But a harmless, fun kind of confusion that leads to learning all around.

December 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterElaine

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>