In A Vase on Monday – Florida’s Fall Berries


Crisp fall mornings and brightly colored Autumnal leaves are not something I associate with South Florida. There are 3 Red Maples that change color in a nearby swamp and that is about the extent of our fall color. As far as crisp mornings go, it is usually 80 degrees going on sweltering by late morning.

However, there are berries in the fall on some of our native shrubs. The purple berries are Beautyberry (Calliocarpa americana), actually recycled from last week’s arrangement. The tubular orange flowers/ berries are from a huge Firebush (Hamelia patens) in my backyard. I cut it back to about 4 feet during the winter and it is now over 7 feet tall – and this one is called Dwarf. Currently covered in orange tubular flowers turning to berries (they look a bit like Pieris berries) this shrub is also a magnet for butterflies and I can’t bring myself to cut it back, yet. I have considered tree forming it!

The berries of the Firebush, a bit further along than the ones in the arrangement:



Filling out the arrangement are Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea), a mystery weed and a few Asian Sword Ferns. The mystery weed popped up a few years ago and has nice cream colored spikes in the Fall, I may find out what it is someday.

The cobalt blue vase was a Christmas gift from my brother and sister in law many years ago.

I have planted my IAVOM inspired seeds and am pleased to report the White Italian Sunflowers, Cactus Zinnias and Asters are coming along. Hopefully soon to appear in a vase.


22 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Florida’s Fall Berries

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Nice autumnal display. The Firebush does have interesting berries and your beautyberry looks very lush.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your creativity is a joy to behold, Amy. Those berries all go together beautifully – an instant icon of autumn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. FlowerAlley says:

    Whoa, those berries. Much smaller bunches in NC.


  4. A great use of berries. That is a good mindset to look for colorful berries, instead of leaves. I also like your use of weeds! Some weeds are really pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chloris says:

    Wow! My callicarpa berries never look like that. I love the Firebush, what a beautiful flower and you get berries too, great. Such a pretty arrangement in the little blue vase. Your flowers are always so exotic.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christina says:

    I was thinking the same thing as Chloris, that your flowers are so exotic, lovely arrangement.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    I love your ‘autumn in FL’ look, such fat branches of berries. My beautyberry is minuscule compared to yours – maybe it is because they die to the ground every winter and have to start over in spring. I like that you are planting annuals as ours are heading to rest, the season continues!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The fall plant combination is beautyberry and a hot pink bromeliad that blooms at the same time. Difficult for the more northern gardening brain to process. Pretty, though. I planted a couple of Beautyberry this summer and the new ones don’t have quite as much fruit but still more that I ever saw up north.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Kris P says:

    That firebush and its berries are wonderful! I’ve only recently seen Hamelia for sale here but it had much darker flowers – I love the color on your specimen.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cathy says:

    The beautyberry and firebush make a brilliant focus for your vase – it works so well. Glad your seeds are looking promising

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great autumn colours. The Firebush is so interesting and looks oddly tactile. I bet it is glorious in the garden, covered with butterflies.

    Liked by 1 person

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