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Datasheet

Ardisia elliptica

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 02 April 2014
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Ardisia elliptica
  • Preferred Common Name
  • shoebutton ardisia
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. elliptica is one of the world’s 100 worst invasive alien species (Lowe et al., 2004). This ornamental shrub has been widely introduced around the tropics and sub-tropics from it native South-East Asia, and has since escaped from cultivation, becom...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit. John Prince Park, Lake Worth, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit. John Prince Park, Lake Worth, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit. John Prince Park, Lake Worth, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
HabitArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit. John Prince Park, Lake Worth, Florida, USA. September, 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit on roadside. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January, 2005.
TitleHabit
CaptionArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit on roadside. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January, 2005.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2005 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit on roadside. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January, 2005.
HabitArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit on roadside. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January, 2005.©Forest & Kim Starr-2005 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, March 06, 2006.
TitleHabit
CaptionArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, March 06, 2006.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2006 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, March 06, 2006.
HabitArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, March 06, 2006.©Forest & Kim Starr-2006 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); leaves. Hana Hwy, Oopuola, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March, 2011.
TitleLeaves
CaptionArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); leaves. Hana Hwy, Oopuola, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March, 2011.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2011 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); leaves. Hana Hwy, Oopuola, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March, 2011.
LeavesArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); leaves. Hana Hwy, Oopuola, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March, 2011.©Forest & Kim Starr-2011 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); flowers. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
TitleFlowers
CaptionArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); flowers. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2002 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); flowers. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
FlowersArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); flowers. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.©Forest & Kim Starr-2002 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); ripe fruit and leaves. Hana Hwy Oopuola, Maui, Hawaii, March, 2011.
TitleFruits
CaptionArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); ripe fruit and leaves. Hana Hwy Oopuola, Maui, Hawaii, March, 2011.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2011 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); ripe fruit and leaves. Hana Hwy Oopuola, Maui, Hawaii, March, 2011.
FruitsArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); ripe fruit and leaves. Hana Hwy Oopuola, Maui, Hawaii, March, 2011.©Forest & Kim Starr-2011 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); seedlings. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
TitleSeedlings
CaptionArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); seedlings. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2002 - CC BY 3.0
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); seedlings. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
SeedlingsArdisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia); seedlings. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.©Forest & Kim Starr-2002 - CC BY 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Ardisia elliptica Thunb.

Preferred Common Name

  • shoebutton ardisia

Other Scientific Names

  • Ardisia kotoensis Hayata
  • Ardisia littoralis Andrews
  • Ardisia sorsogoensis Elmer ex Merr.
  • Ardisia squamulosa C. Presl
  • Ardisia umbellata Roxb.
  • Bladhia elliptica (Thunb.) Nakai
  • Bladhia kotoensis (Hayata) Nakai
  • Bladhia squamulosa (C. Presl) Nakai
  • Tinus squamulosa (C. Presl) Kuntze

International Common Names

  • English: shoe button ardisia
  • French: ardisie elliptique
  • Chinese: dong fang zi jin niu

Local Common Names

  • Australia: China shrub, duck's eye, jet berry
  • Cook Islands: venevene tinito, vine tinito
  • Cuba: ardisia
  • French Polynesia: ati popa'a, atiu
  • Jamaica: blackberry
  • Malaysia: buah letus (snap fruit), mata ayam (chicken's eyes), mata itek (duck's eyes), mata pelandok, penar, rempenai
  • Philippines: bahagion, katagpo, kolen
  • Puerto Rico: mameyuelo
  • Samoa: togo vao
  • Thailand: langphisa, ramyai, thulangkasa
  • USA: inkberry, jet berry

Summary of Invasiveness

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A. elliptica is one of the world’s 100 worst invasive alien species (Lowe et al., 2004). This ornamental shrub has been widely introduced around the tropics and sub-tropics from it native South-East Asia, and has since escaped from cultivation, becoming a particular problem weed in southern Florida and the Everglades, also Hawaii, and has naturalized in Australia, Puerto Rico and likely in other countries. Birds and some mammals are the main local dispersal agents via consumption of the edible berries. It is shade tolerant and can form monotypic stands in moist areas displacing native vegetation. Planting of A. elliptica has been banned in some areas, though its continued availability via ornamental plant dealers means further introduction may be likely.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Primulales
  •                         Family: Primulaceae
  •                             Genus: Ardisia
  •                                 Species: Ardisia elliptica

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Ardisia elliptica is in the family Primulaceae. This family includes about 58 genera and 2590 species of trees, shrubs and herbs widely distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world (Stevens, 2012). It includes the subfamilies Myrsinoidea and Theophrastoidacea, both previously treated as separate families. Member of the family Primulaceae can be recognized by their usually spirally arranged leaves sometimes with dark dots or lines. Their flowers are sympetalous with stamens borne opposite to the petals and an ovary with several to many ovules and free-central placentation; the stigma is not lobed (Stevens, 2012). The subfamily Myrsinoidea includes 41 genera and 1435 species. Ardisia is the largest genus within this subfamily including about 450 species. The most common vernacular name in English is the shoebutton ardisia.

Description

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The following description is taken from the Flora of China (Chen and Pipoly, 1996). Shrubs 1-2 m tall, with angular branchlets, 3-4.5 mm in diameter, glabrous, conspicuously black, punctate-lineate, longitudinally ridged. The petiole is marginate, 5-10 mm long; and the leaf blade is 6-12(-16) cm long and 3-5(-7) cm broad, oblanceolate or obovate in shape, subleathery, dull and densely punctate abaxially, especially along the margin, base cuneate, margin revolute, entire, apex obtuse or acute; with lateral 12-34 veins on each side of the midrib, marginal vein present. Inflorescences are axillary or subterminal on basally thickened lateral branches, subumbellate or umbellate. Flowers are leathery, pink or white, 6(-8) mm. Pedicel ca. 1-2 cm, minutely and densely white verruculose, densely punctate. Sepals broadly ovate, ca. 1 mm, densely black punctate, base rugose and subauriculate, margin subentire, scarious, minutely ciliate, apex rounded. Petals almost free, broadly ovate, densely punctate, glabrous, margin hyaline, scarious, entire, apex long attenuate. Stamens subequalling petals; anthers linear-lanceolate, punctate dorsally, longitudinally dehiscent, transversely septate-lobed, apex apiculate. Pistil as long as petals; ovary glabrous, pellucid punctate; ovules numerous, multiseriate. Fruit subglobose, red or purplish black, ca. 8 mm in diameter, minutely punctate, fleshy.

The following are differences observed between the description from China, above, and that of Wagner et al. (1999), where A. elliptica is introduced and invasive in Hawaii. In Hawaii, the shrubs are noted to be taller, up to 4 m tall, with smaller range of leaf sizes (6-9 cm long, 1.5-4 cm wide) and petiole lengths (4-8 mm long). Leaves are alternate, a character not expressed above, and flower and fruit sizes also vary. Inflorescences axillary, umbellate to racemose, peduncles 1.5-3 cm long, pedicels ca. 1 cm long; sepals suborbicular, ca. 2 mm long, the surface black punctate, margins hyaline and ciliolate; corolla lobes pale lavender, lanceolate, conspicuously punctate. Drupes red when immature, black at maturity, globose, ca. 5 mm in diameter, densely punctuate.

In Florida, USA, FLEPPC (2009) record A. elliptica as taller still, with heights up to 5 m, and much larger leaves up to 20 cm long, and in the same state there are also records of plants up to 6 m tall and with basal diameters of 15 cm.

Plant Type

Top of pageBroadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Woody

Distribution

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The exact native range is debated, though it is generally accepted as South and South-East Asia. USDA-ARS (2009) report its native range to be from Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan in the northeast, to Papua New Guinea in the southwest, to India in the west, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.  It is uncertain, however, whether it is native to southern, coastal China, Myanmar and Cambodia.

It has also been widely introduced pan-tropically, and the distribution table is highly likely to have underestimated the number of countries where it is actually present.

Distribution Table

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CountryDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferencesNotes

ASIA

CambodiaPresentNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009
ChinaPresentNativeOviedo Prieto et al., 2012
IndiaLocalisedNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009Western coastal areas
IndonesiaPresentNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009
Japan
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009
MalaysiaPresentNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009
MaldivesPresentIntroducedPIER, 2009
PhilippinesPresentNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009
Sri LankaPresentNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009
TaiwanPresentNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009
ThailandPresentNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009
VietnamPresentNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009

AFRICA

MauritiusPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER, 2009
RéunionPresentIntroducedInvasiveUSDA-ARS, 2013
SeychellesPresentIntroducedInvasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009; Seychelles Environment, 2009

NORTH AMERICA

USA
-FloridaPresentIntroducedInvasiveUSDA-NRCS, 2009
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasiveUSDA-NRCS, 2009

CENTRAL AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN

CubaPresentIntroducedInvasiveOviedo Prieto et al., 2012
DominicaPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
El SalvadorPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2009
HondurasPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2009
JamaicaPresentIntroducedInvasiveAdams, 1972
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2009
PanamaPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2009
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedInvasiveFrancis, 2002
Saint LuciaPresentIntroducedGraveson, 2012; Broome et al., 2007Common ornamental in Castries area

SOUTH AMERICA

GuyanaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2009
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedHokche et al., 2008

OCEANIA

Australia
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER, 2009
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedPIER, 2009
Cook IslandsWidespreadIntroducedInvasivePIER, 2009
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveMeyer, 2004; PIER, 2009Tahiti and Rarotonga
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeNot invasiveUSDA-ARS, 2009
SamoaPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER, 2009

History of Introduction and Spread

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It is generally accepted that A. elliptica has been widely introduced during the 1900s, and is cultivated throughout the tropics and has naturalized in many countries. It was introduced to the Seychelles around 1900 (Seychelles Environment, 2009), and it was imported to Florida for use as an ornamental plant also by 1900, and had already been reported as having escaped from cultivation in south Florida by 1933 (Small, 1933). It was also likely to have been introduced to countries close to its native range limits early on, such as Australia and some Pacific islands.

Risk of Introduction

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Scoring 11 and failing a risk assessment for the Pacific (PIER, 2009), A. elliptica is not recommended for further planting, and in both Hawaii and Florida, it is a declared invasive species and control programmes are in operation in both (USDA-ARS, 2009). It is also on noxious weed lists in French Polynesia and Australia. However, it is still available as a ‘rare’ tropical ornamental, even from companies based in areas where it is well established as an invasive species, such as Florida (e.g. http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Ardisia_elliptica.htm).

Habitat

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Wet and humid habitats tend to be preferred by A. elliptica, such as moist and wet forests and open areas. In southern China, it is noted to be found on roadsides, in scrubland, near villages, on field edges and in coastal areas (Chen and Pipoly, 1996). In Hawaii, it has become naturalised in disturbed forest, mesic forest and lower portions of wet forest, commonly in wet, lowland areas at altitudes below 550 m (Wagner et al., 1999), and it is noted in moist valleys up to 500 m in French Polynesia (PIER, 2009). It forms secondary thickets in moderately wet places in Jamaica (Adams, 1972), whereas in southern Florida it is now abundant in hammocks, old fields, disturbed wetlands, and tree islands in marshes, forming monotypic stands in the forest understory, such as where it is invading cypress and mangrove areas (Langland and Burks, 1998; FLEPPC, 2009), and it is a serious invasive species in hardwood forests and abandoned agricultural land (Randall et al., 1996). It also exists as isolated, naturalised specimens in riparian vegetation within areas of dry rainforest associated with the monsoon belt of northern Australia (Csurhes and Edwards, 1998).

In a disturbed area of the Everglades National Park, A. elliptica does not occur in all habitat types, nor is it evenly distributed among those where it does occur (Koop, 2004). Seed mortality and mean germination speed was lower in closed canopied forests that in open exposed habitats, and the work of Koop (2004) suggested that differential water availability between habitats may influence the patchy distribution, and the lack of adequate moisture for seeds in exposed habitats such as pine forests and wetland prairies during the dry season has contributed to this. However, as some of the habitats where it currently occurs were pine forests and wetland prairies prior to disturbance, substrate disturbance and canopy formation may have altered the soil microenvironment thus favoring the establishment of A. elliptica (Koop, 2004).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Littoral
Coastal areasPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areasPresent, no further detailsNatural
MangrovesSecondary/tolerated habitatHarmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural landPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsidesPresent, no further detailsNatural
Urban / peri-urban areasPresent, no further detailsNatural
Urban / peri-urban areasPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural forestsPrincipal habitatHarmful (pest or invasive)
RiverbanksPrincipal habitatHarmful (pest or invasive)
RiverbanksPrincipal habitatNatural
Scrub / shrublandsPresent, no further detailsNatural
WetlandsPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
WetlandsPresent, no further detailsNatural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number of A. elliptica is recorded as 2n = 48 (Chen and Pipoly, 1996), though the ploidy of other species within the genus is not known.

Reproductive Biology

A. elliptica
can begin to reproduce at 1-2 years of age under optimal conditions, or 2-4 years otherwise. Species of Ardisia do not produce nectar or other specialized floral resources such as oils or resins, and, based on floral morphology are thought to be pollinated by small bees (Pascarella, 1997), relying on pollinating insects and frugiverous birds and mammals to complete its life cycle.

Five species (A. escallonioides, A. hirtella, A. elliptica, A. sieboldii and A. wallichii) from three subgenera in the genus Ardisia were all found to be self-compatible but not agamospermous, which is likely to be a general characteristic of the genus Ardisia (Pascarella, 1997). Four of the five species exhibited autogamy, which was strongly associated with stamen position, anther dehiscence type, protogyny, and inflorescence type (Pascarella, 1997).

Physiology and Phenology

In China, A. elliptica was observed to flower from February to April, and fruit from September to November (Chen and Pipoly, 1996). However, where introduced and invasive in Florida, it is seen to flower and fruit all year round (FLEPPC, 2009). Seeds, however, are thought to be relatively short-lived, and may not survive for more than six months.

It is a shade-tolerant, evergreen shrub that grows rapidly, forming dense monotypic stands that prevent establishment of all other species. Juveniles can probably survive for many years in low light conditions in a forest understory, but then grow rapidly if a break in the canopy occurs. It is however, probably not resistant to fire. It is thought to be able to live for 25-40 years, at least, though no firm data for longevity are available.

Associations

A number of insects are observed feeding on A. elliptica in both its native and introduced ranges, though none of these appear to limit growth or reproduction, and are generalists in their feeding behaviour.

Environmental Requirements

Little is recorded on the exact environmental requirements of A. elliptica. It is a species of the humid tropics and not tolerant of frost. It prefers permanently moist soils and is not tolerant of drought.

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
A - Tropical/Megathermal climatePreferredAverage temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
Af - Tropical rainforest climatePreferred> 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climatePreferredTropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savannah climate with dry summerTolerated< 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climateTolerated< 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])

Rain Regime

Top of pageBimodal
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • saline
  • shallow
  • sodic

Natural Enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Pagodiella hekmeyeriHerbivoreLeavesnot specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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From searches of the native range in Malaysia in 2004 and 2005, the dominant herbivore on A. elliptica was found to be the pagoda bagworm (Pagodiella hekmeyeri, Family: Psychidae), a generalist pest of oil palm, and two species of chrysomelid beetles and a juvenile Hemiptera species were also observed on A. elliptica (Ewe et al., 2005).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Vector Transmission (Biotic)

Propagules remain viable after passage through the guts of frugivorous birds, which are reported as the principal dispersal agents, attracted to the numerous red to blackish fruits (PIER, 2009), though small mammals also play a role. In Florida, the grey catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) was noted to be a significant dispersal agent (Langeland and Burks, 1998), though long-distance dispersal by raccoons (Procyon lotor), although less frequent than bird dispersal, may be important in determining invasion rates (Koop and Horvitz, 2005). 

Intentional Introduction 

Long distance introduction of A. elliptica has been largely, if not entirely, due to its use as an ornamental species, and as it remains available from nurseries and seed catalogues, further introduction may still be likely.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Digestion/excretionYesKoop & Horvitz, 2005
Landscape improvement/ landscaping industryYesPIER, 2009
Nursery tradeYesPIER, 2009
Ornamental purposesYesPIER, 2009

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Mail/postYesYes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Environment (generally)Negative

Economic Impact

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The costs of removing A. elliptica in Florida and Hawaii are thought to be considerable once well established, though these have not been quantified.

Environmental Impact

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A. elliptica forms dense monotypic thickets below the forest canopy which crowds out native understory plants, and shade-tolerance and tolerance of wet soil conditions contribute to its success as an invasive species (Langland and Burks 1998). A. elliptica, along with A. crenata, also has the capacity in Florida to displace native species such as Ardisia escallanoides (marlberry) and the endangered Argythamnia blodgettii (Blodgett’s silverbush) (Ewe et al., 2005).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferences
Argythamnia blodgettiiIUCN red list: Near threatenedFloridaCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shadingEwe et al., 2005

Social Impact

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The social impacts as an attractive ornamental species are beneficial; however, these are outweighed by negative effects where it has become invasive, such as in the Florida Everglades.

Risk and Impact Factors

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Impact mechanisms

  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Rapid growth

Impact outcomes

  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Negatively impacts tourism
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species

Invasiveness

  • Fast growing
  • Has a broad native range
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Long lived
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Tolerant of shade

Likelihood of entry/control

  • Difficult/costly to control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Economic Value

Potential for pharmaceutical applications from extracts of plants from the genus Ardisia were noted by Kobayashi and de Mejía (2005), and other species are widely used in China for such purposes. More specifically, antibacterial activity against four serovars of salmonella was observed with plant extracts from A. elliptica (Phadungkit and Luanratana, 2006), and there were positive effects on the reduction of breast cancer cells (Moongkarndi et al., 2004). It is also occasionally used as firewood for home use.

Social Benefit

In parts of its native range in South-East Asia, the berries are known to be eaten, and plant parts are used for the preparation of traditional medicines.

Environmental Services
 

As an ornamental shrub, A. elliptica offers benefits as a low windbreak and physical barrier when planted as a hedge.

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity
  • Landscape improvement

Fuels

  • Fuelwood

General

  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Fruits

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • Seed trade

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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A. elliptica shares a similar but more restrictive native and exotic range as compared to A. crenata (the coral ardisia), another invasive weed. The latter is also native to much of China and mainland Japan as well as Myanmar, and is also invasive in South Africa and well as in areas overlapping the invasive range of A. elliptica. A. crenata differs, however, by having bright red rather than black fruits, and leaf margins that are subrevolute, crenate, or undulate rather than revolute and entire.

In Florida, USA, A. elliptica is similar to the native marlberry Ardisia escallonioides, and the native myrsine Rapanea punctata (Myrsine floridana), though it differs by having a larger growth habit and conspicuous axillary clusters of mauve flowers (FLEPPC, 2009).

Prevention and Control

Top of pageControl

Physical/mechanical control

Hand-pulling of seedlings is effective when plants are small, if rather time-consuming. Medium-sized plants can be mown, but then regrowth must be managed, such as with herbicide applications (PIER, 2009).

Biological control

Ewe et al. (2005) made two surveys of central and northern peninsula Malaysia in 2004 and 2005 to look for potential biocontrol agents, but found only generalist herbivores as natural enemies.

Chemical control

In areas with a dense groundcover of seedlings, a broadcast spray of glyphosate is effective, although desirable plants will also be killed if not carefully avoided. Mature shrubs can be treated with a basal application of triclopyr mixed with oil (Randall et al., 1996). PIER (2009) noted from work in Hawaii that A. elliptica is susceptible to 2,4-D, especially after mowing, while triclopyr, dicamba and metsulfuron are less effective. Glyphosate is also reported as effective as a foliar spray and as a basal bark treatment, with tebuthiuron, triclopyr and triclopyr ester also proving effective (PIER, 2009). Siso and Burzycki (2004) found cut stump treatments with triclopyr to be 95% effective, though results were significantly different between sites, indicating that further study is needed.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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More study is required at the genus level, with the identification of other Ardisia spp. that are also used in the ornamental trade, and on which other species have also shown signs of invasiveness. Analysis of ploidy levels within the genus may also be revealing.

References

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Adams CD, 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica. Mona, Jamaica: University of the West Indies, 848 pp.

Broome R, Sabir K, Carrington S, 2007. Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database. Barbados: University of the West Indies. http://ecflora.cavehill.uwi.edu/index.html

Chen J, Pipoly JJ III, 1996. Ardisia Swartz. In: Flora of China, 15 [ed. by Zheng-yi, W.\Raven, P. H. (et al)]. 10-29. http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/PDF/PDF15/ardisia.pdf\http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=210000072

Csurhes S, Edwards R, 1998. Potential environmental weeds in Australia: candidate species for preventive control. Canberra, Australia: Biodiversity Group, Environmental Australia, 202 pp. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/publications/books/pubs/potential.pdf

Davidse G, Sousa MS, Knapp S, Chiang FC, 2009. Cucurbitaceae a Polemoniaceae. Flora Mesoamericana, 4(1):1-855.

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Organisations

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Hawaii: Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR), Hawaii, http://www.hear.org/

USA: Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC), Florida, http://www.fleppc.org/

Contributors

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10/07/13 Updated by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

16/04/09 Original text by:

Nick Pasiecznik, Consultant, France

Distribution Maps

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Distribution map Australia
See regional map for distribution within the countryAustralia
See regional map for distribution within the countryCook Islands: Widespread, introduced, invasive
PIER, 2009China: Present, native
Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012China: Present, native
Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012Cuba: Present, introduced, invasive
Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012Cuba: Present, introduced, invasive
Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012Dominica: Present, introduced
Broome et al., 2007Guyana: Present, introduced
Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009Guyana: Present, introduced
Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009Honduras: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009Honduras: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009Indonesia: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Indonesia: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009India: Localised, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Jamaica: Present, introduced, invasive
Adams, 1972Jamaica: Present, introduced, invasive
Adams, 1972Japan
See regional map for distribution within the countryCambodia: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Saint Lucia: Present, introduced
Graveson, 2012; Broome et al., 2007Sri Lanka: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Mauritius: Present, introduced, invasive
PIER, 2009Maldives: Present, introduced
PIER, 2009Malaysia: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009Panama: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009Panama: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009French Polynesia: Present, introduced, invasive
Meyer, 2004; PIER, 2009Papua New Guinea: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Papua New Guinea: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Philippines: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Philippines: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Puerto Rico: Present, introduced, invasive
Francis, 2002Puerto Rico: Present, introduced, invasive
Francis, 2002Réunion: Present, introduced, invasive
USDA-ARS, 2013Seychelles: Present, introduced, invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009; Seychelles Environment, 2009El Salvador: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009El Salvador: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009Thailand: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Taiwan: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Taiwan: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009USA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryVenezuela: Present, introduced
Hokche et al., 2008Venezuela: Present, introduced
Hokche et al., 2008Vietnam: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Samoa: Present, introduced, invasive
PIER, 2009
  • = Present, no further details
  • = Evidence of pathogen
  • = Widespread
  • = Last reported
  • = Localised
  • = Presence unconfirmed
  • = Confined and subject to quarantine
  • = See regional map for distribution within the country
  • = Occasional or few reports
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Distribution map (asia) China: Present, native
Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012Indonesia: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009India: Localised, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Ryukyu Archipelago: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Cambodia: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Sri Lanka: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Maldives: Present, introduced
PIER, 2009Malaysia: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Papua New Guinea: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Philippines: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Thailand: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Taiwan: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Vietnam: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009
Distribution map (europe)
Distribution map (africa) Mauritius: Present, introduced, invasive
PIER, 2009Réunion: Present, introduced, invasive
USDA-ARS, 2013Seychelles: Present, introduced, invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009; Seychelles Environment, 2009
Distribution map (north america) Cuba: Present, introduced, invasive
Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012Honduras: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009Jamaica: Present, introduced, invasive
Adams, 1972Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009Puerto Rico: Present, introduced, invasive
Francis, 2002El Salvador: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009Florida: Present, introduced, invasive
USDA-NRCS, 2009Hawaii: Present, introduced, invasive
USDA-NRCS, 2009
Distribution map (central america) Cuba: Present, introduced, invasive
Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012Dominica: Present, introduced
Broome et al., 2007Guyana: Present, introduced
Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009Honduras: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009Jamaica: Present, introduced, invasive
Adams, 1972Saint Lucia: Present, introduced
Graveson, 2012; Broome et al., 2007Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009Panama: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009Puerto Rico: Present, introduced, invasive
Francis, 2002El Salvador: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009Florida: Present, introduced, invasive
USDA-NRCS, 2009Venezuela: Present, introduced
Hokche et al., 2008
Distribution map (south america) Guyana: Present, introduced
Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009Panama: Present, introduced
Davidse et al., 2009Venezuela: Present, introduced
Hokche et al., 2008
Distribution map (pacific) Australian Northern Territory: Present, introduced, invasive
PIER, 2009Queensland: Present, introduced
PIER, 2009Cook Islands: Widespread, introduced, invasive
PIER, 2009China: Present, native
Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012Indonesia: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009French Polynesia: Present, introduced, invasive
Meyer, 2004; PIER, 2009Papua New Guinea: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Philippines: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Taiwan: Present, native, not invasive
USDA-ARS, 2009Samoa: Present, introduced, invasive
PIER, 2009