Author Topic: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?  (Read 6938 times)

Offline BurrRabbit

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Hi,

Anyone using the American Beauty berry for jelly or wine? These plants are everywhere in my area.


Offline The Fishin Magician

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2010, 06:30:32 PM »
Are you referring to Callicarpa americana?

I hate to be so critical, but could you please include the scientific name when asking questions about plants? Scientific names are universal, whereas common names can be used to describe entirely different plants, leading to confusion. It's just to help ensure we're all on the same page, so-to-speak.

I've never used the berries for jelly or wine. I've read conflicting sources...some say the berries are not edible, some say they're edible but horribly insipid. I've tasted them before, and find they don't have much flavor at all, but the flavor they do have isn't pleasant.

I do use the crushed leaves as a "makeshift" natural mosquito repellant, and haven't found anything that works any better! (Myrica cerifera (Wax Myrtle) works too, but not as effectively as the Beautyberry). Just crush the leaves and rub on your skin.

Sorry this doesn't specifically answer your question...just thought I'd share.

Offline BurrRabbit

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 05:28:57 PM »
Hi,

Yes I am referring to Callicarpa Americana. i'll report back as to how they taste when they get ripe. I may even make some wine as these things are all over the woods near me.

Offline txpc

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2010, 07:32:43 AM »
These are everywhere in southern FL as well. I use these to make jelly with, have never made a wine from them. They taste pretty bad off the bush honestly but cooking much improves the flavor.

Like The Fishin Magician mentioned, the leaves work very well as a repellent.

Offline TxMom

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 10:24:21 PM »
http://www.eattheweeds.com/beautyberry-jelly-on-a-roll/   Not tried this yet, may, I'm blessed with an abundance of these plants.

Offline tx_persimmon_rustler

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2013, 11:26:09 PM »
Just want to echo Fishin Magician. They've actually done research on how effective the insect repellent qualities are, and beautyberry beats out DEET. No stinging. No stinking. Great stuff, I use it from time to time.

I dunno about the jellies. I've heard good things, but the berries have no taste at all straight off the plant.

Offline summer98

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 11:53:44 AM »
Truthfully, they taste so bad I'd rather leave them for the birds (who LOVE them more than anything but a mulberry) and then eat the birds.
"Freedom Road is a long, hard haul, but it's worth the ride, even if you never get there at all." -Leslie Fish, Freedom Road

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2013, 07:24:11 PM »
The Fishin Magician is right.

Beautyberry is useful. It's one of 2 tested and actually proven herbal mosquito repellents. The other is true African citronella, which doesn't grow in most of the US and is not the same thing as the "citronella scented" repellents sold in most stores which are usually derivatives of mints, which have in studies proven to be ineffective.  There are other plants suspected of repelling mosquitoes, that simply haven't been tested, I can't speak to them.  But most of the old wives tales about using tea leaves, mint, lemon balm, bee balm and others are quite frankly bullshit. This one actually works. You may find the bush better suited for insect repellent than food. 

I read online they were useful for repelling mosquitoes, and thought it was another over-hyped claim.  I bought one plant to try it out (they don't winter over in my area, so it's taking up valuable greenhouse space).  It has earned it's place in my greenhouse though.  Works great.

Poultry will eat them. You might find a decent recipe for jelly, but I bet you already have one for roast chicken that's pretty good.  Most animals (birds, and chipmunks I can confirm) are not bothered by the mild toxins in the berries.  Humans can eat them raw, but eating a lot will lead to severe stomach cramps. Though I cannot imagine eating enough of these berries fresh that anyone would run into that problem. Cooking them seems to mitigate the effect according to what I have read, though I have not tried myself.
A good government may, indeed, redress the grievances of an injured people; but a strong people can alone build up a great nation. - Thomas Francis Meagher

Offline TxMom

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 08:33:50 AM »
An older friend of mine said her mother used them in the 1930's to color lips and cheeks. 

Thinking they'd make a great dye.

She said her mother also told her, yes, you can make jelly with them, but the jelly wasn't worth wasting your sugar on. 

Another friend told me I could dry them and use as stored chicken feed.

No poultry at the time, wonder if anyone close by would like to harvest some.

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 08:57:04 AM »
I've seen a jelly recipe where they suggest adding grapes plus the sugar to make it sweet. Have some growing. Has a sort of mint/medicinal flavor.

Offline GATORGRANNY1952

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2017, 04:14:44 PM »
I am new here but I would like to let you know that I have eaten the American Beauty Berry jelly and it is delicious.  I have them cultivated into a shaped bushes on my property in Ocala, Florida. Last year I decided that if you can make jelly with them you can make Wine with them.  I am not one who likes to wait years to drink my wine so I tend to make Adapted Inmate Wines that you drink after fermentation stops. I applied those procedures last year and made 5 gallons of delicious wine and all my friends raved about how good it tasted.  I am right now harvesting my berries again to make a new batch for this year.  If anyone is interested I will post the recipe after I get this batch started.   I can tell you though that it makes a very drinkable wine.  I like mine on the sweet side but you can tweak it to be how you like it.

Offline TxMom

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Re: American Beauty Berry - French Mulberry Anyone using these?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2017, 09:51:36 AM »
Thanks, I will try some jelly this year if time permits or simply feed them to my son's chickens.