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Ardisia Escallonioides (Marlberry) is a tree or shrub which can grow to a height of 50 feet (ca. 15 m) in ideal circumstances such as in Florida’s coastal hammocks. Yet it is commonly 20 to 25 feet (7.62 m) tall in cultivation. The crown has upright branches and an irregular to rounded shape with dense foliage. And, it has whitish scaly bark.
Also, the dark green leathery leaves are alternate, elliptical, simple and up to 7 inches (17.78 cm) long. The small fragrant flowers are white or pink with purple lines or dots and borne as showy terminal clusters. While, the red juicy fruits are borne in dense bunches, resemble blueberries, ripen to black, and are about 3/8 inch in diameter. They contain a single seed and are edible but are said to not be very tasty.
In cultivation, Marlberry prefers well-drained soils with an organic top layer. In landscaping, it is an attractive tree or shrub thanks to its leaves and colorful fruits. Furthermore, birds eat the fruits; and the seeds are used for propagation. It is well suited for gardens and parks. It can also be used as a specimen tree or pruned to form a hedge. Ardisia Escallonioides (Marlberry) is an ideal choice for native tree gardens.