Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Shoebutton Ardisia
Ardisia elliptica

Family: Myrsinaceae
Genus: Ardisia (ar-DIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: elliptica (ee-LIP-tih-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Bladhia elliptica
Synonym:Ardisia polycephala

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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2 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MAINE_CAL On Jan 16, 2011, MAINE_CAL from Pittsfield, ME wrote:

I garden in Maine, so my Ardisia elliptica is strictly a houseplant. When first I received it, it was 4" tall & in a 2" pot. Three years later & several re-pottings later, it's now hitting my living room ceiling. So, yes, I guess you could say I've been successful!

Positive plantladylin On Dec 29, 2009, plantladylin from South Daytona, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

My Ardisia elliptica was a really small $1.98 house plant from Wal-Mart a few years ago. It's grown a lot but is still a small plant. It has pretty little blooms and the berries are quite attractive as well.

Ardisia crenata and Ardisia elliptica are both listed as catagory 1 invasive's in Florida so it's best to keep them as container plants.

Neutral wormfood On Jan 26, 2009, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a beautiful potted plant. I let it go through it's flowering but snip off the berries before they mature and dispose of them properly.

Lost this plant during the Jan. '09 freeze at 21*
But I have two more, I'll be more careful.

Negative NativePlantFan9 On Feb 11, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Shoebutton Ardisia or Jet Berry (Ardisia elliptica) is extremely invasive in central and southern Florida, from coastal central Florida (Brevard County, zone 9a) south through the Keys. It is a shrub or small, upright tree. It spreads rapidly by seed and forms dense, shrubby stands and thickets, pushing out native vegetation. The seeds are dispersed by birds, and this plant tolerates a wide range of soil and spreads rapidly in natural areas, habitats and ecosystems. The flowers are small and purple to violet or pink-white, which distinguishes it from the extremely similar (but very beneficial, wildlife-benefiting and superb native) Marlberry, which is native to central and southern Florida in many of the same habitats, south through the Keys. Also, the leaves of this species are generally more narrow than those of the native Marlberry. Another feature is that the flowers are found in small, hanging clusters, unlike the flowers of the Marlberry, which are found in larger, not drooping, white-flowering clusters. This plant has invaded many of the rare and endangered tropical hardwood hammocks of southern Florida and the Keys as well as a wide range of other natural habitats, including hammocks, shell mounds, coastal strand, coastal scrubs, swampy sites and sunny sites and thickets and a wide range of habitats in between, including in Everglades National Park, spreading extremely rapidly and aggressively, pushing out native species. It is now found and spreading and naturalized in several counties in central and southern Florida (zones 9a through 11), including Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe (mainland and the Keys), and Collier counties. It thrives in sun to deep shade. It SHOULD NOT BE PLANTED IN FLORIDA! It is a Category One Invasive by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC). A synonym for this species is Bladhia elliptica (Thunb.)Nakai.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Daytona Beach, Florida
Lecanto, Florida

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