shoebutton ardisia
Ardisia elliptica Thunb


Ardisia elliptica is a tall shrub or small tree that can reach heights of 20 ft. (6.1 m).
The leathery leaves are 3-6 in. (7.6-15.2 cm) long, 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide, elliptical and entire.
Most flowering occurs in the summer, but flowering can continue year-round. The flowers are small, pink, star-shaped and hang in clusters from the axils of the leaves.
Fruits are drupes that are rounded, fleshy, 0.3 in. (8 mm) in diameter, and start out red in color but turn black or purple as they mature.
Ecological Threat
Ardisia elliptica grows well in low, wet areas and in old fields. This species is shade-tolerant. Birds eat the fruit and so disperse the seeds. Ardisia elliptica is a native of Southeast Asia and was introduced into the United States as an ornamental in the late 1800’s.

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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Primulales
Family: Myrsinaceae
Genus: Ardisia
Subject: Ardisia elliptica Thunb


Plants - Hardwood Trees