Ardisia Japonica Marlberry

Ardisia Japonica Size

Ardisia japonica (Marlberry) is a Shrub which grows to a height of 0.45m . It has a hardness rating of 8.

Marlberry will flower in February to March. the seeds ripen from June to September

The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by









E. Asia - China, Japan.

Ardisia Japonica Growing Guide

Ardisia Japonica Soil Information

Marlberry will grow in light (sandy),medium (loamy),hard (clay) soil. It is / is important for the soil to be well drained.

The soil prefers the following PH / acid levels :

  • pH of less than 6, Acidic soils
  • pH between 6 and 8, Neutral soils
  • pH greater than 8, Basic soils

Marlberry prefers moist soils

Ideal Marlberry Planting Locations

Woods in hills and low mountains all over Japan.

Planting places suited to this plant described below.

  • Grows within a woodland garden
  • Works within dappled Shade
  • Grows in a shady edge
  • Can be used as a hedge

Marlberry Cultivation Details

Prefers a well-drained humus rich soil in partial shade in a position sheltered from cold drying winds. 

Hardy to about -10°c, it succeeds outdoors in S.W. England but is not wholly hardy at Kew. It does well in a woodland situation. A number of cultivars have been developed for their ornamental value.

Propagating Ardisia Japonica

Seed - best harvested when it is ripe in the winter and sown immediately in a greenhouse. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady part of the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, once the plants are 20cm or more tall. Cuttings of half-ripe wood in summer. Grow on in cool, shaded humid conditions until well rooted.

Ardisia Japonica Other Uses

Plants can be grown as a trimmed hedge[200].

  • Hedge - Plants that can be grown as hedges.

Ardisia Japonica Cultivars

'' - There are some named forms for this species, but these have been developed for their ornamental value and not for their other uses. Unless you particularly require the special characteristics of any of these cultivars, we would generally recommend that you grow the natural species for its useful properties. We have, therefore, not listed the cultivars in this database.

Ardisia Japonica Medicinal Uses*

* See disclaimer

Medicinal Rating: 3/5

This plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, especially in cases of bronchitis, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Carminative, depurative, expectorant, stimulates blood circulation. 

The leaves are used in the treatment of cancer and hepatoma. 

A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of coughs and uterine bleeding. 

The root is antidote and diuretic. The plant is depurative.

  • Antidote - Counters poisoning.
  • Antitussive - Prevents or relieves coughing.
  • Cancer - Used in the treatment of cancer.
  • Carminative - Reduces flatulence and expels gas from the intestines.
  • Depurative - Eliminates toxins and purifies the system, especially the blood.
  • Diuretic - Acts on the kidneys, promoting the flow of urine.
  • Expectorant - Clears phlegm from the chest by inducing coughing.

Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.

  • Bean. W.
  • Author: Bean. W.
  • Publisher: A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
  • Date of Publication: 1981

Flora of Japan. (English translation)

  • Ohwi. G.
  • Author: Ohwi. G.
  • Publisher: The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
  • Date of Publication: 1965

The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.

  • Huxley. A.
  • Author: Huxley. A.
  • Publisher: Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
  • Date of Publication: 1992

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Nathan Schwartz

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