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basket weavers -- do you use callicarpa americana stems?

Posted by taragirl (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 9, 07 at 13:46

Dear weavers of baskets,

I am a gardener, and I have noticed that my beautyberry bushes (both the American kind with pink berries and the non-native kind with white berries) have long, straight, unbranched, FLEXIBLE shoots that have to be pruned off each winter. These plants also emit a strong baby-powder-like fragrance, even through their branches. I think most people would like the fragrance, although it's too strong for my taste, especially when the cuttings are fresh.

Does anyone use this shrub for weaving baskets or other crafts? If so, maybe I'll start selling the plants or cuttings and make a little money to fund my gardening habit!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: basket weavers -- do you use callicarpa americana stems?

Gosh, Tara, guess we don't have any basket weavers on here yet. Sounds like a neat plant though. Luvs

RE: basket weavers -- do you use callicarpa americana stems?

Hi Tara, I do weave but I have limited experience with naturals. I don't have access to anything but commercial reed. Sounds interesting and wouldn't mind trying it. If it keeps its smell after drying it would be good for craft shows.
Dee from Possum Hill.

RE: basket weavers -- do you use callicarpa americana stems?

Hey Tara! In the past I've used many naturals in basket weaving and found that they command higher prices just as decorative objects even though they can be functional as well. As they should because it takes so much of it! I see using anything that grows out there to be a likely candidate for weaving as long as it holds well when it dries, has some girth to it, and is not poisonous!! But, sorry, I can't speak directly to having used callicarpa. And let me throw this out...last year I saw some woven chargers of naturals at a sale. They did intersperse some with reed for strength, some dyed, some not. The crafter even had some using pinks, others blue, for use by the special birthday person on their day! Cute idea, I thought, and obviously easier/quicker to weave than a basket! Give it a try and let us know how it holds up!

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