Pigeon Berry, Bloodberry, Rouge Plant, Baby Pepper, Coral Berry
Rivina humilis

Family: Phytolaccaceae
Genus: Rivina (riv-VEE-nuh) (Info)
Species: humilis (HEW-mil-is) (Info)
Synonym:Rivina laevis
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Groundcovers

Perennials

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Spacing:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Foliage:

Deciduous

Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

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:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

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

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)

Hollywood, Florida

Largo, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Miami, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Punta Gorda, Florida

Sanford, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Adkins, Texas

Austin, Texas (4 reports)

Beaumont, Texas

Bellaire, Texas

Belton, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Harlingen, Texas

Houston, Texas (2 reports)

Iredell, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Rosenberg, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Waco, Texas

Waxahachie, Texas

Willis, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

6
positives
3
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Neutral

On Sep 3, 2014, 622Dixie from Boynton Beach, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I would like to use this as a ground cover, as some people have, but it does not look like a ground cover! Any advice? Thank you.

Negative

On Dec 27, 2013, bellzeybubba from Bastrop, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a beautiful pest.

In the right conditions pigeon berry a great option, so much so that it was hard to go negative. It forms an attractive, delicate looking ground cover in a shady dry area. Great for a low maintenance ground cover under trees as others have recommended.

But woe be to you if you put it in a well maintained bed. This plant multiplies rapidly, putting out deep, pervasive roots and broadcasting those attractive little fruits everywhere. I've spent the last year and a half fighting against it as it's spread almost 10 ft in each direction from the original planting site. Even after continued digging and tilling it's still coming up in large numbers. Be very wary of where you plant it!

Positive

On Oct 28, 2013, Cambium from Lamar, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

I find this plant to be a lovely addition to my houseplants. It grew in FL as a weed but I admired its values and took some seeds to grow my own. I planted it in normal potting soil with added sand.

Now I live in AR and it is one of my many cherished houseplants.

It seems to be a very forgiving plant with its water needs and is nice and bushy when pinched back heavily and early in the growing season. It does best in full sun. It is lovely and birds love the berries!

Neutral

On Jun 29, 2013, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

The leaves of this plant can be consumed. They are known to be good for the blood - haemoglobin.

Positive

On Aug 21, 2012, FlaFlower from Titusville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

An excellent plant, I put it under my mulberry trees in the garden where we want to attract the birds, I find that the cardinals love to steal the mulberries and the finches love to steal the pigeon berries this is all very exciting watching the wildlife from behind my window not disturbing them, my window into there world :-) I have plenty of seeds to share, offer me something, almost anything and I will pick and clean them for you.

Positive

On Jun 20, 2012, maisie303 from Sanford, FL wrote:

There is a great history to this Florida native. In addition to its pollinator attraction, it is said that the Rouge Plant was used by women to color their cheeks - thus the common name. I've tried it and it works fine, not a stain, just color that washes off. Things were much simpler on the prairie.

This plant holds a nice domed shape while it flowers and fruits continuously and simultaneously all summer long. In Central Florida it is subject to any freezes but it comes back every spring. It self-propagates from seeds that germinate near the mother plant. Very controllable and shareable.

Neutral

On Jul 31, 2011, devildog2 from Humble, TX wrote:

No experience growing it yet, but purchased one today at Growers' Outlet in Willis. They have a nice selection of very vigorous pigeonberry plants.

Positive

On Jul 30, 2004, plantnatives from Friendswood, TX wrote:

I live south of Houston in Friendswood between and Galveston. I planted Pigeonberry two summers ago in the dead heat. It is interplanted with Spegelia under a large lobolly pine getting part sun during the day. It is doing great- what a wonderful ground cover. I love the winter when it turns a love maroonish purple. It is very tolerant of our climate when we have too much or not enough water. The seeds can be directly sown into the ground. A+

Positive

On Sep 15, 2003, margaretx from Houston, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

So far so good. I planted this under my 150' pines and a smaller Am Elm and it is spreading slowly and looking very nice in front of the taller gingers. The variegated foliage is attractive in the semi-shade. I have Hosta "So Sweet" in front. It's still filling in but so far it has managed to make it through our August. (We have two seasons, August and the rest of the year.) And there has been a great deal of rain and it's not rotting. I like that in a plant!

Positive

On Sep 14, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio. TX
A native Texas plant, it is an excellent groundcover for shady areas growing 10 to 18 inches tall. The wavy margined leaves are one to three inches long. The pink to white blooms are on the tip of a spike measuring one to two inches in length with the base of the spike producing orange, red or purple berries from spring to fall. Blooms and berries are present at the same time. The fruit yields a red dye. If you live in a coastal area, note that it tolerates a lot of salt spray and salty soil. Some sources state that it is invasive.

I have given it a neutral rating because I have not grown it myself. I have seen it growing in many locations in my zone.

Update: Changed rating to positive. I planted 3 of the plants last summer when I finall... read more