Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

17 members have or want this plant for trade.

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6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Blooms repeatedly


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:

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

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By Floridian
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There are a total of 16 photos.
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6 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral 622Dixie 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 bellzeybubba 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 Cambium 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 Dinu 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 FlaFlower On Aug 21, 2012, FlaFlower from Miami Dade, FL (Zone 11) 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 maisie303 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 devildog2 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 plantnatives 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 margaretx 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 htop 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 finally located some. They were a little spindly at the end of the fall. Now (6/8/05), they have taken off and are filling out with lots of blooms and berries. The foliage is very nice green that stands out in the shade. 12/06 - The foliage has turned to beautiful purplish-red color which adds fall interest.


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

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