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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

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


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

Daytona Beach, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

North Miami Beach, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 25, 2017, GrowInFlorida from North Miami Beach, FL wrote:

I "inherited" several ardisias with the house purchase. I don't understand why it is considered invasive in the state of Florida, my ardisias are very contained within themselves and do not spread at all, definitely not as rapidly as for example Brazilian pepper (the worst worst worst tree ever, a tropical forest killer) or native sea grape that sprouts a mile around! Berries are nice and tart, tastes exactly like chokeberry, I eat them with great pleasure, and wouldn't mind if I had even more of them, it's a nice tropical looking bush or a small lanky tree and if you trim it, it bushes up. So don't be afraid of this ardisia, rather...just eat it! :-D


On Feb 23, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The World Conservation Union has included this species in their list of 100 of the world's worst invasive species, one of only 32 terrestrial species so singled out. [[email protected]]

At present, it is regulated by the state of Florida (5B-57.007 Noxious Weed List), and it is included on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) Category I list of invasive plants.


On May 11, 2015, ZombiShakespear from Clayton, NC wrote:

My mom was given a tiny plant about 5 years ago with no label, and she gave it to me. I'm not worried about it being invasive as I'm not in the right zone for it and plan to keep it as a house plant. I've kept it in my office all this time and it's grown quite a bit, but I had no idea what it was until one of you lovely Dave's Garden people ID'd it for me. I have to ask, though, how did you get it to flower? And mine is 5 years old and definitely hasn't grown as fast as MAINE_CAL's. It's very healthy and has no problems, it just grows slowly and doesn't flower. It's just a bit over a foot tall, nowhere near the ceiling like yours!


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!


On Dec 29, 2009, plantladylin from (Zone 1) 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.


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.


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 ... read more