Callicarpa 'Profusion': spectacular bright violet berries
Callicarpa ‘Profusion’ is a spectacular shrub for an autumn display because of its bright violet purple berries. Their almost neon colour is amazing and unlike any other shade of purple we see occurring naturally in the garden. Although each individual fruit may be small in size, they always make an impact as they form large clusters. First appearing in mid-September, they can often last well into November when the plant’s leaves have all but disappeared. It’s a lovely addition to any autumnal garden.
C. ‘Profusion’ is an upright deciduous shrub with simply-shaped leaves. Young foliage tends to have a bronze colouring (making them quite useful for flower arranging I’m told), turning to mid-green as it matures. In autumn it transforms to a glorious pinkish red colour and is wonderful as part of a wider autumn colour scheme.
Growing to heights of up to 3m and widths of 1.5m to 2m, C. ‘Profusion’ can cope with windy locations and will happily grow in most soils providing they are well-drained. It does prefer a sunny position though, but partial shade isn’t a problem. Generally pest and disease free, C. ‘Profusion’ is an easy plant to grow and is sufficiently hardy for UK winters.
From a garden design point of view, I like to use C. ‘Profusion’ in groups of 3 or 5 as part of a mixed planting scheme. To make the most of the colourful berries it really needs to have a prominent position in the front half of a border, and it looks fabulous near to a favourite seat or path.
As previously mentioned, as well as having interesting berries, C. ‘Profusion’ provides good autumn foliage colour as well so it is always worth planting it near to other colourful shrubs. Why not try it alongside a Japanese maple such as Acer ‘Bloodgood’ or the smokebush Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’?
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