Ardisia japonica

Botanical Name : Ardisia japonica
Family: Myrsinaceae
Genus: Ardisia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Species: A. japonica
Common Name: Japanese Ardisia; Marlberry; Maleberry

Habitat :
Native to eastern Asia, in eastern China, Japan and Korea.Woods in hills and low mountains all over Japan. Mixed forests or bamboo woods, hillsides and dark damp places at elevations up to 1200 metres


Description:

Ardisia japonica is a species of Ardisia. It is a low-growing, spreading very quickly evergreen shrub 20–40 cm tall. The leaves are opposite or in whorls, ovate, 4-7 cm long and 1.5-4 cm broad, with a sharply serrated margin and an acute apex. The flowers are 4–10 mm diameter, with five (rarely six) white to pale pink petals; they are produced in racemes in late spring. The fruit is a drupe 5-6 mm diameter, red maturing dark purple-black in early winter.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is a low evergreen groundcover that spreads by underground rhizomes. It is grown in shaded areas . Japanese Ardisia flowers on the stem tips in the fall with small white flowers followed by red fruit during the winter.


Cultivation :

Prefers a well-drained humus rich soil in partial shade in a position sheltered from cold drying winds. Hardy to about -10°c, it succeeds outdoors in S.W. England but is not wholly hardy at Kew. It does well in a woodland situation. A number of cultivars have been developed for their ornamental value.

Hardiness: USDA Zone 8,  Exposure: Part Sun to Shade,  Water Requirements: Medium

soil   :  well drained soil
seed   :  small red fruit in fall
foliage  :   Evergreen
fall color :    bronze/green

Dark green leathery leaves. Prefers acidic, organic well-drained soil. White star shaped flowers followed by 1/4″ red fruit through winter. Smaller leaves and lower growth habit than the species and slightly hardier.

Weed problems
It has escaped from cultivation and established itself in the wild in the United States, in Gainesville, Florida.

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Propagation:
Seed – best harvested when it is ripe in the winter and sown immediately in a greenhouse[1]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady part of the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, once the plants are 20cm or more tall. Cuttings of half-ripe wood in summer[200]. Grow on in cool, shaded humid conditions until well rooted

Medicinal uses:
Antidote;  Antitussive;  Cancer;  Carminative;  Depurative;  Diuretic;  Expectorant.
It is used as a medicinal plant in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is called z?j?n niú (traditional Chinese: ???), and is considered one of the 50 Fundamental Herbs.

This plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, especially in cases of bronchitis, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Carminative, depurative, expectorant, stimulates blood circulation. The leaves are used in the treatment of cancer and hepatoma. A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of coughs and uterine bleeding. The root is antidote and diuretic. The plant is depurative.

Precautions:
Large doses of the plant as medicine can be toxic to the kidneys.

Other Uses
Hedge;  Hedge.
Plants can be grown as a trimmed hedge. A number of cultivars have been selected for growing as ornamental plants, including ‘Hakuokan’ and ‘Ito Fukurin’ with variegated leaves, ‘Hinotsukasa’, with pale cream-coloured leaves, and ‘Matsu Shima’ with pink stems and variegated leaves.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardisia_japonica
http://www.magnoliagardensnursery.com/productdescrip/Ardisia_Green.html
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/groundcover/ardisia_japonica.html
http://www.pendernursery.com/Catalog/Detail/ardisiajaponicachirimen.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ardisia%20japonica

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