A variegated leaf beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Duet’, below) is planted where it is hardly seen without mucking through slop as a spring trickles through the rear garden. I have never been tempted to move it to a more prominent position.
While there is nothing wrong with ‘Duet’, its berries are less abundant than other beautyberries and variegation is not sufficient reason to bring it forward. The less distinct variegation of branches that have mutated on ‘Duet’ are only slightly intriguing (below), and I am barely tempted to root branches to plant on their own. I held off a year in doing so to be certain the variegation was stable, but the more I see it the more unremarkable the subtle variegation appears.
Seedlings of beautyberries are not unusual, and particularly the white berried Albifructa (Callicarpa dichotoma albifructa, below) that must occasionally be chopped out of damp ground. One climbed high into a cherry beside the koi pond until finally it became a bit of a nuisance and it was cut down to knee high.
Two dark leafed hybrid beautyberries planted a year ago show promise with improved foliage, and one, ‘Pearl Glam’ is more restrained in growth. I am undecided if this is a positive.
‘Purple Pearls’ is more vigorous, more typical of beautyberries, and with clusters of glossy berries. Perhaps ‘Pearl Glam’ will grow to gain favor, but both are excellent additions to the garden.