It's time to read and vote for your favorite article in the 2013 Write-Off Contest! The four finalist's articles are featured in the May 13 newsletter and can be found through this link. Hurry! Voting ends May 18.
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.
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: