Origin: India, China, Southeast Asia
Introduction to Florida: 1900 (ornamental)
Ardisia elliptica is occasionally found growing in the hammocks of Brevard and St. Lucie Counties, and along the southern peninsula of Florida. Shoebutton is native to Asia but escaped cultivation (Wunderlin, 2003).Description
Evergreen, glabrous shrub or small tree to 5 m (17 ft) tall, with smooth stems and new foliage often reddish.
Alternate, to 20 cm (8 in) long, oblong to oval, fleshy, leathery, gland-dotted below, with margins entire.
Axillary clusters, star shaped, 13 mm (0.5 in) wide, with mauve-colored petals.
Rounded drupe, 6 mm (< 1 in) wide, red turning to black when ripe, with white juicy flesh.
Text from Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know – Recognition Cards 2Impacts
Abundant in hammocks, old fields, disturbed wetlands, and tree islands in marshes, form-ing dense single-species stands in forest understories and crowding out native plants. Also invading cypress and mangrove areas along the New River in Broward County. FLEPPC Category I