Coral Bush (കടൽചെറി)

Scientific Name: Ardisia elliptica Thunb.

Synonyms: Ardisia kotoensis Hayata, Ardisia littoralis Andrews

Unique ID: 19

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub Class: Gamopetalae                        

Series: Heteromerae

Order: Primulales

Family: Primulaceae

Common Names

English – Shoe button ardisia

Malayalam – കടൽചെറി



Description: It is considered as invasive. 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; Flowers are leathery, pink or white, 6(-8) mm. Pedicel ca. 1-2 cm, minutely and densely white verruculose, densely punctate. Fruit subglobose, red or purplish black, ca. 8 mm in diameter, minutely punctate, fleshy.

Habitat: Wet and humid habitats tend to be preferred by A. elliptica, such as moist and wet forests and open areas.

Distribution: The exact native range is debated, though it is generally accepted as South and South-East Asia. It has also been widely introduced pan-tropically.

Uses: 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. As an ornamental shrub, A. elliptica offers benefits as a low windbreak and physical barrier when planted as a hedge. antibacterial activity against four serovars of salmonella was observed with plant extracts from A. elliptica.