Sims, Bot. Mag. 45: plate 1950. 1817.
Coral ardisia, coral-berry, spice-berry, hen's eyes
not stoloniferous, 1-1.5(-3) m; branchlets minute-ly reddish glandular-papillate.
petiole 6-10 mm, glabrous; blade elliptic, narrowly lanceolate, or oblanceolate, 7-15 × 2-4 cm, margins crenulate or undulate, subrev-olute, (bearing large vascularized nodules), apex acute or acuminate, surfaces minutely reddish glandular-papillate.
terminal, on specialized, 2- or 3-leaved lateral branches, umbels or cymes, 5-18+-flowered.
sometimes erect, 7-10 cm, minutely reddish glandular-papillate.
sepals (4-)5(-6), oblong-ovate, 1-1.5(-2.5) mm, margins entire, apex rounded or obtuse, glabrous; petals (4-)5(-6), white or rarely pinkish, ovate, 4-6 mm, margins entire, apex acute, punctate, glandular-papillose adaxially near base; stamens shorter than petals; anthers triangular-lanceolate, apex acute, punctate abaxially; ovary glabrous; ovules ca. 5, uniseriate.
red, 6-8 mm diam., punctate.
Flowering May-Jun; fruiting Jul-Dec. Acidic soil of suburban and urban woodlands and hardwood hammocks; 0-200 m; introduced; Fla., Ga., La., Tex.; Asia (China, sw India, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam); Pacific Islands (Philippines).
has naturalized from cultivation and does not appear invasive; it is included in some Florida invasive plant lists. It has often been misidentified as
(Thunberg) A. de Candolle in the horticulture trade.
, while also belonging to subg.
, may be easily recognized by the bacterial leaf nodules in the crenations of the leaf margins. It is often used in living potted flower arrangements; it needs little attention if planted in acidic soil. Its bacterial leaf nodule symbiosis with
has been well documented (B. Lambert et al. 1990); the significance of this symbiosis remains controversial (N. R. Lersten and H. T. Horner 1976; C. D. Nakahasi et al. 2005).
may be easily distinguished from
by its taller habit, 1-3 (versus shorter than 1) m tall, lack of creeping rhizomes (versus rhizomes present), adaxially canaliculated (versus flat) petioles (6-)8-10 (versus 5-8) mm long, its leaf margin nodules ellipsoid (versus rounded), and obviously vascularized (versus obscurely so). We have seen
in greenhouses and in horticultural catalogs; we have not seen it cultivated in gardens or escaped from cultivation.