The common names for plants often leave you scratching your head. Some of the more esoteric common names have a good excuse: they originated long ago, when their now mysterious monikers made perfect sense. For instance, if a plant was used medicinally, this might be reflected in the common name; thus "goutweed" was so named because it was thought to cure gout. Such names aren't very helpful to today's landscaping novice trying to determine whether or not to grow the plant in question.
"Beautyberry," on the other hand, is an example of a straightforward plant name, a name based solely on the plant's trademark physical characteristic. "Beautyberry" will be as appropriate a name for this shrub a thousand years from now as it is today. In fact, even the scientific name for the beautyberry shrub (Callicarpa) essentially translates as "beautyberry."
If you're looking to supplement your fall foliage specimens with a shrub that bears colorful berries in autumn, read the article linked to above to learn more about this aptly named plant.
A Bush of Note for Spring: Andromeda Shrub
Photo ©2009 David Beaulieu, Landscaping Guide (licensed to About, Inc.)