Recently we went to our favorite country Antique Store in Hopewell. Mickey, the owner who raised commercial flowers before retirement, told us about American Beautyberry with an excellent description. The next day as we walked in Kirkwood Park we came upon American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). This is a rapidly growing shrub native to the southern U.S. The purple fruit grows late into the fall and is a favorite of small birds and deer.
The crushed leaves contain a chemical, callicarpenal, which has been shown in tests to be effective as a mosquito repellant.