Ardisia escallonioides

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Marlberry, Marbleberry


Plant Specifics

Size:3-15 (20) ft tall by 3-8 ft wide.  Taller in southern Florida than to the north.
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:White
Fruit Color:Black
Phenology:Evergreen. Flowers intermittently throughout the year.
Noted for:Aroma, fragrance, Interesting bark, Showy flowers, Showy fruits, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Specimen plant or hedge.
Considerations:Weak wood.
Propagation:Seed, but it may take 6 months to germinate.
Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade,  Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Moderate. Tolerant of salty wind and may get some salt spray. Exposure to salt spray would be uncommon (major storms).
Soil or other substrate:Sand
Soil pH:Circum-neutral to somewhat alkaline



Birds eat the berries.


Attracts Halictid bees.

Native Habitats:Moist to dry hammocks

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:Fruit is edible.
General Comments:

Don't confuse this native with the two highly invasive ardisias: coral ardisia (A. crentata) and shoebutton ardisia (A. elliptica).

While this will grown in full shade, it blooms better in part sun to sun.