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Ardisia crenata - Sims.

Common Name Coralberry, Hen's eyes, Spiceberry
Family Primulaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods in low mountains, C. and S. Japan[58]. Forests, hillsides, valleys, shrubby areas, dark damp places at elevations of 100 - 2400 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea, India.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade
Ardisia crenata Coralberry,  Hen
Ardisia crenata Coralberry,  Hen


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An evergreen shrub with attractive red berries, native to east and southeast Asia and parts of India, which grows to 2m (6ft) as an understorey forest plant. The root is anodyne, depurative, febrifuge and used to stimulate blood circulation. Used as an ornamental plant in shady conditions. Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Late summer. Form: Rounded, Upright or erect. Common Names: Australian holly; Christmas berry; coral ardisia; coral berry tree; coral bush; hen's eyes; Hilo holly; scratchthroat; spiceberry. French: arbre à noël; arbre de noël; ardisie crénelée; baie corail; bois de noël. Chinese: zhu sha gen. Germany: gewürzbeere; spitzenblume. Japan: manryo. South Africa: koraalbessieboom (Afrikaans).

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Ardisia crenata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from September to December. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map



Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

None known


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anodyne  Depurative  Febrifuge

The root is anodyne, depurative, febrifuge[147, 218]. It is used to stimulate blood circulation[147].


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Other Uses

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

Special Uses


Cultivation details

Prefers a well-drained humus rich soil in partial shade in a position sheltered from cold drying winds[200]. 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[200]. This species is closely related to A. pseudocrispa, from which it differs in having crenate leaves with a distinct marginal vein[266]. There has been some confusion between this species and A. crispa, the name Ardisia crispa was misapplied by de Candolle to Ardisia crenata[266]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Invasive, Fragrant flowers.


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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[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive. An invasive species in parts of the USA (Florida and Hawaii), a number of Pacific Islands, and Australia. As a native it is also invasive in the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed. In Singapore is listed as critically endangered.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Ardisia crispa Shrub1.2 6-9  LMHSM110
Ardisia japonicaMarlberryShrub0.5 8-10 MLMHSM030
Ardisia sieboldiiDuo Zhi Zi Jin NiuShrub6.0 0-0  LMHSM100

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


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Readers comment

   Thu Jan 4 2007

Let's talk about how this plant escapes cultivation and becomes a very serious nuisence plant. I would not like to unleash this plant into new areas after seeing what it can do in Florida and Hawaii. It destroys habitats and takes over. Do you really want this in your backyard.

Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council

Bob Boensch   Tue Apr 3 2007

This plant has also escaped in southeast Texas north of Beaumont. It has become a serious invasive and is dominating an old(er) growth Beech/Magnolia forest. Efforts to eradicate it have taught us that the thick,waxy leaf is almost impervious to herbicide. It is displacing many of the native, herbacious plants.

jeanette dearden   Wed Sep 16 2009

there are a lot of fruit fly tye insects around my friends plant in her house, is this common for this plant She lives in the north east of england, but the little creatures are all over the plant, flying around, like midgies.

   Dec 11 2014 12:00AM

This plant killed our neighbor's one year old yellow lab within 30 minutes of him chewing on it.

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