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Shoebutton ardisia (Ardisia elliptica)

Lempeni or duck's eye or coralberry or shoebutton ardisia (Ardisia elliptica) are shrub species in Primulaceae, grow in tropical climates, survive under the shade of large trees in dense forests, strong single roots and produce sweet fruit.

A. elliptica can grow up to 5 meters high, a single stem and stands upright with many short branches, has oval shaped leaves, elongated, rather thick, smooth texture, shiny, pink when young and will turn dark green when old.

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Flowers appear on leaf axils, umbrella-shaped with reddish purple crowns and white petals to pink. Lempeni produces round and clustered fruits, which are green when young and turn red, purple and black when old.

Ripe fruit emits purple ink when broken, about 5-6 mm. Seeds are round and 5 mm in diameter. Ripe fruit is preferred for consumption for sweetness. The leaves are antiplatelet, are antibacterial and contain many antioxidants.

Ardisia solanacea and Ardisia humilis are considered the same species as Ardisia elliptica by some experts. Individuals reach reproductive maturity in 2-4 years in the wild and 1-2 years in cultivation. Mature plants in the forest with lots of sun can produce 400 fruits.

Seeds do not require dormancy. Seedlings and shoots can live in very shady places for years. With a little sunlight, young plants quickly develop into adults and reproduce. The fruit is favored by birds and mammals so it is very quickly spread throughout the landscape.



Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Ardisia
Species: A. elliptica

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