Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ardisia crenata Sims

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Flowers and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
1st leaf stage, cotyledons absent, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Sims, J. (1820) Bot. Mag. : t1950. Type: China.

Common name

Hen's Eyes; Coral Berry


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-2 m tall, sometimes flowers when smaller.


Leaf blades about 6-12 x 2-4 cm, margin thick, markedly crenate. Oil dots red. Petioles about 0.5-1.1 cm long.


Flowers about 7-12 mm diam. on slender pedicels about 6-12 mm long. Calyx lobes about 1 mm long, petals about 4-5 mm long, both marked by globular (orbicular) and elongated reddish oil glands. Anthers sagittate, pollen white. Ovary unilocular, placentation basal, ovules 3, immersed in a globular placenta.


Pedicels long and slender. Fruits bright red, globular or depressed globular, about 5-10 mm diam. Calyx lobes persistent at the base and the style at the apex. Seed globular, about 5 x 6 mm. Embryo very small, about 2 mm long, radicle about 1.6 mm long, much longer than the cotyledons.


First pair of leaves ovate to elliptic: margins crenate. Red oil dots visible to the naked eye. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic to ovate, glabrous, about 70-80 x 35-40 mm, apex obtuse to retuse, base cuneate, margin deeply crenate, petiole about 6 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade margin crenate with about 4-8 teeth on each side. Oil dots numerous, red, visible to the naked eye. Lateral veins extend from the midrib to a vein near the margin which could be classed as an intramarginal vein. Terminal bud and stem clothed in small +/- sessile pale-coloured glands which are visible with a lens. Seed germination time 61 to 92 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from Asia and Malesia, cultivated and now naturalised in NEQ and in south-eastern Queensland and north eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from near sea level to 800 m. Grows in disturbed areas of lowland and upland rain forest and in urban areas.

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