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shrub

Japanese Ardisia

Ardisia japonica

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Japanese Ardisia (Ardisia japonica) at Westwood Gardens

Japanese Ardisia foliage

Japanese Ardisia foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Japanese Ardisia (Ardisia japonica) at Westwood Gardens

Japanese Ardisia flowers

Japanese Ardisia flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 inches

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Other Names:  Marlberry; Maleberry

Description:

A rich groundcover perfect for shaded areas that are moist and cool; emerging copper leaves become deep green and are finely serrated; does not tolerate foot traffic and is not drought tolerant

Ornamental Features

Japanese Ardisia features dainty clusters of pink star-shaped flowers with white overtones at the ends of the branches in mid spring. It has dark green foliage which emerges coppery-bronze in spring. The glossy pointy leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. It produces red berries in mid fall.

Landscape Attributes

Japanese Ardisia is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep. When pruning is necessary, it is recommended to only trim back the new growth of the current season, other than to remove any dieback. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Japanese Ardisia is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Japanese Ardisia will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in partial shade to shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Rock  Groundcover 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Texture  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features