Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Color Flavor: Porcelain Berry

In my youthful explorations, I learned a lot about wildflowers, plants, and topography. I can instantly identify a number of native flora and fauna and know where you're likely to find them. A few years ago, I saw something I'd not seen before, a porcelain berry. A plant native to Asia, this climbing foliage is considered an invasive species in this country. It is quickly spreading across from the eastern states and must be controlled as it can choke out native vegetation.

The porcelain berry has grape-like leaves. It's a trailing bush, growing up to 15 feet tall, with drooping branches. Perhaps the most striking thing about this plant are the berries. The berries are small and opaque with tiny flecked spots. They range in color from magenta purple, cloudy sea blue, to pale earthy green, most of the time in the same fruit bunch.

Dusty magenta isn't an easy color to incorporate into designs of any kind, at least not quietly. It is almost certainly going to be seen as feminine. Keep this in mind. This color would work well as an accent for a women's boutique or salon. It would also be appropriate for a bakery since it mimics closely the color of many berries used in baking.

In interior design, these hues work well in rooms that tread the line between warm and cool. Bedrooms and bathrooms benefit from the relaxing blues and imaginative magenta. Add a spring-like yellow green for interest. Above, Behr's Peru (UL100-19) is the accent wall color paired with Bayside (510F-5) and Waterfall Mist (W-D-510).

 Patterns featured above can be found here, here, and here.


  1. When I saw the picture of the bedroom I actually thought, "Hey I think I'd like that in our room." Then realized I have a husband who would hate it since it seems so girlie. I've never heard of those berries before and the colors are beautiful. Maybe they will find their way into my daughters bedroom when she's older.

  2. When I saw them for the first time, I was so confused by them and in awe. They're gorgeous, but apparently quite destructive to native vegetation. Nice colors though.