Ardisia elliptica, Shoebutton Ardisia

Gardens & Landscapes, Invasive Species, Extension Master Gardener February 09, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF

Invasive Species: Ardisia elliptica, Shoebutton Ardisia

Shoebutton ardisia is an invasive tall shrub or small tree that can reach a height of 20 ft. (6.1 m). The leathery leaves are 3 to 6 in. (7.6 to 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, and star-shaped and hang in clusters from the axils of the leaves. The berrylike fruit contains a single seed. The fruits change from white to red to purple and then to black when fully ripe. Shoebutton ardisia grows well in low, wet areas and in old fields. This species is shade tolerant. Shoebutton ardisia is a native of Southeast Asia and was introduced in the United States as an ornamental plant in the late 1800s.

What are invasive species, and why should we be concerned about them? 


Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species

Primulales > Myrsinaceae > Ardisia elliptica Thunb

Synonyms: shoebutton, inkberry, seashore ardisia

Ardisia elliptica - USDA PLANTS Profile

Distribution Maps

shoebutton ardisia - The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)

Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important 

Reporting This Invasive Species

What is the best way to report the occurrence of an invasive species? 

 How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS - Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

EDDMapS - Report an invasive species to EDDMapS.

County Extension Offices - Find your county Extension office on this map provided by USDA.

How to Identify

This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.

Shrub

It is a tall shrub or small tree that can reach a height of 20 ft. (6.1 m).

Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service,  bugwood.org Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,  bugwood.org

Foliage

The leathery leaves are 3 to 6 in. (7.6 to 15.2 cm) long, 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide, elliptical, and entire.

Dan Clark, USDI National Park Service, bugwood.org Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,   bugwood.org

Flower

Most flowering occurs in the summer, but flowering can continue year-round. The flowers are small, pink, and star-shaped and hang in clusters from the axils of the leaves.

Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,   bugwood.org

John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy,  bugwood.org

Fruit

The berrylike fruit contains a single seed. The fruits change from white to red to purple and then to black when fully ripe.

Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, bugwood.org Ken A. Langeland, University of Florida, bugwood.org

 

Native Species That Resemble Shoebutton Ardisia

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

 

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

 

Additional Images for Shoebutton Ardisia

shoebutton ardisia - Images at invasive.org

 

Learning Resources for Shoebutton Ardisia

 

Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state's land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label .

United States Land Grant University System - Find your Land Grant University's College of Agriculture, University Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.

Center for Invasive and Aquatic Plants - University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension

Species Inventory - Smithsonian Marine Station

ID Book - Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC.org)

Shoebutton ardisia - USDA Forest Service


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.