Herbs & Plants

Ardisia crenata

Botanical Name: Ardisia crenata
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Ardisia
Species: A. crenata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Christmas berry, Australian holly, Coral ardisia, Coral bush, Coralberry, Coralberry tree, Hen’s-eyes, and Spiceberry

Habitat:Ardisia crenata is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea, India. It grows in woods in low mountains, C. and S. Japan. Forests, hillsides, valleys, shrubby areas, dark damp places at elevations of 100 – 2400 metres.
Ardisia crenata is an upright perennial shrub that grows 1.5–6 feet (0.46–1.83 m) tall. It maintains a caespitose growth pattern and is often multi-trunked. It prefers moist soil and germination can occur from pH 4 to pH 10. It does well in temperatures of 25°C and above. Germination rates are as high as 98% after 40 days. Its leaves are simple, alternate and measure up to 8 inches long. They are waxy and dark green with a crenate margin containing small calluses within the ridges. The leaf tips are acuminate and their petioles are 3–10 mm long. They have a central vein with up to 18 pairs of side veins. Flowers are white or pink with yellow anthers and grow in axillary clusters and are very often covered in multiple black spots. Plants begin to bear fruit two years after sprouting. It has an abundance of spherical, 1-seeded red berries of about 0.25 inches in diameter that remain on the plant throughout the year. The berry clusters often sag down below the glossy foliage. Berries are dispersed by birds and, when present, raccoons through consumption and subsequent excretion and also by water flow.
Prefers a well-drained humus rich soil in partial shade in a position sheltered from cold drying winds. We are not sure if this plant is hardy outdoors in Britain. One report says that it is hardy in zone 7 (tolerating temperatures down to between -10 and -15°c) but then goes on to suggest that it needs an essentially frost-free climate and is often grown as an indoor pot plant in Britain. This species is closely related to A. pseudocrispa, from which it differs in having crenate leaves with a distinct marginal vein. There has been some confusion between this species and A. crispa, the name Ardisia crispa was misapplied by de Candolle to Ardisia crenata. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Invasive, Fragrant flowers…...CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Seed – best harvested when it is ripe in the winter and sown immediately in a greenhouse. 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. Grow on in cool, shaded humid conditions until well rooted.

Mechanical Uses:
The root is anodyne, depurative, febrifuge. It is used to stimulate blood circulation.

Mechanical control of Ardisia crenata is a challenge. Useful methods include hand-pulling in the case of small-scale invasions. This is not a very efficient method due to the difficulty of eliminating all the surrounding berries littering the ground that will soon replace the removed material. Another option is discing, which tills the soil up in hopes of destroying the rhizomes. This must be carefully administered to prevent harm of the surrounding local flora and ensuring that the rhizomes are subdued. Cutting as well as burning prove to be ineffective due to the strongly rhizomatous nature of the plant. If a mechanical method is used to control the plant, the site must be regularly monitored for at least a year in order to ensure elimination of Christma

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses: Container. Used as an ornamental plant in shady conditions.

Known Hazards: There are suspicions that the plant may be poisonous to pets, livestock, and/or humans, but there has been no scientific confirmation of this.

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