Ardisia Species, Hens Eyes, Hilo Holly, Coralberry, Coral Ardisia, Spiceberry, Christmas Berry

Ardisia crenata

Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Ardisia (ar-DIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: crenata (kre-NAY-tuh) (Info)




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Mobile, Alabama

Brooksville, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Lake City, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Brunswick, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Thomasville, Georgia

Mandeville, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Sumter, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 16, 2017, MomKat from Mobile, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very pretty for winter color, but VERY invasive on the Gulf Coast. Spreads rapidly through bird distribution and chokes out natives in partial shade.


On Mar 12, 2016, Spinky from Havana, FL wrote:

Beware the attractions of this destructive invader! It proliferates rapidly into woodlands, forming expanding colonies and crowding out native ground covers and desirable plants. There are no biological controls (the plants and seeds are toxic to animals and probably humans) and is difficult to control manually and chemically. If anybody knows how to get rid of it without a huge investment of labor and money, let me know.


On Mar 3, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This species has naturalized in all the Gulf coast states plus Georgia. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council has listed this species as a Category I invasive, one producing demonstrated damage to natural habitat. The Florida Department of Agriculture has designated it a noxious weed. It is also a pest plant in Hawaii.


On Jan 13, 2014, RustyB from Mandeville, LA wrote:

(Zone 9A) Terrific plant for my shade garden! Berries provide lots of color for many months.
Invasive? Can be.....I have seen an area ( a former botanical garden that had returned to the wild) where these plants had escaped control, so I know it does happen. However I've had them in my landscape for years without a problem. Seedlings are easily removed.


On Jan 24, 2013, skidz from Wetumpka, AL wrote:

My nursery tells me this plant will not be invasive in our area (north of Montgomery and south of Birmingham). It has been growing at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens for some time without any evidence of it getting out of control. With that assurance I'm planting it today, and I'll see.


On May 18, 2005, jnana from South Florida, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council lists this plants in their category 1 of most invasive plants. Do not plant it if you live in Florida.


On Feb 10, 2005, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

According to a study by the USDA:

"The seeds of two commercially marketable small shrubs, Ardisia crenata and Ardisia japonica do not germinate if they are stored for more than a few weeks in conditions where they are allowed to dehydrate. This makes it difficult to mass-produce these plants, which have attractive white or red berries that can stay on the plant for over a year. "

So, in order to grow these plants from seed, you need to have very fresh seed, perhaps the whole berry. These seeds bascially cannot be dried like other seeds. According to another web site, these need 25 degrees C (77F) for germination.

Other common names of this plant are:
coralberry, coral ardisia, spiceberry, Christmas berry


On Jan 30, 2005, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I agree that this is a beautiful shrub with attractive foliage and red berries, but it won't do any good to grow this invasive plant in a pot. The problem is those pretty red berries that are eaten by the birds, then carried away and planted in natural areas.


On Apr 10, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is good for pots, but don't put it out in the yard if you live in is quite invasive there. Loves moisture and has displaced a lot of the native plants in bogs and swamps.