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PlantFiles: Marlberry, Dogberry, Marbleberry
Ardisia escallonioides

Family: Myrsinaceae
Genus: Ardisia (ar-DIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: escallonioides (ess-kal-lon-ee-OY-deez) (Info)

Synonym:Ardisia paniculata
Synonym:Ardisia pickeringia
Synonym:Bladhia paniculata
Synonym:Cyrilla paniculata
Synonym:Tinus escallonioides

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

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

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

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:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive fauna4flora On Nov 24, 2008, fauna4flora from West Palm Beach, FL wrote:

This plant is called "Marlberry" because it thrives in marl soil, which is a particular kind of clay soil that is very alkaline and comes from the shell based south Florida soils.

Positive xyris On Aug 4, 2004, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Marlberry is a great native shrub even in interior central Florida, north to about Kissimmee. It naturally occurs in the interior of dense, shady hardwood hammocks, under a canopy usually of mostly live oak and cabbage palmetto, and is often common in the shrub layer of these with Psychotria nervosa, Psychotria sulzneri, and Callicarpa americana, among others. A good place to see lots of it in central Florida is Highlands Hammock State Park.

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Aug 3, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Marlberry is a shrub native to the tropical hardwood hammocks of coastal central and southern Florida south through the Keys, in zones 9b, 10a, 10b, 11 and below. It is also abundant in the Everglades on tree islands in dark mesic hammocks and tropical hardwood hammocks as well, in Everglades National Park. It is an excellent native plant that provides food with it's blackish-reddish to purple berries and possibly some shelter for wildlife. I see these plants in my area growing in parks by the beach, in hammocks on the barrier islands. They are about moderately to somewhat highly salt-tolerant and often grow up the back slope of the dune sometimes to the top where the sea grapes grow, as well as around mangrove swamps near the Intracoastal Waterway and saltwater lagoons. However, it can also be planted inland on the mainland, which I have seen around some homes and buildings, often mixed with other native plants that provide food and shelter for wildlife, such as the Saw Palmetto, Wild Coffee, and Live Oak. They have a very attractive, lush green foilage. They can also grow up to about 10 feet tall! I'd give this plant a big thumbs-up for a native plant garden!

UPDATE/MORE FACTS - The common name "Marlberry" is a mix-up of the previous name of the plant, "Marbleberry". The berries are blackish-purple and are eaten by wildlife and birds but are also edible for people to eat.


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

Boca Raton, Florida
Cape Canaveral, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Indialantic, Florida
Lake Worth, Florida
Largo, Florida
Miami, Florida
North Palm Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Oldsmar, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Tampa, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Beaverton, Oregon

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