Ardisia glabra (Thunb.) A.DC.
Ardisia montana Siebold ex Franch. & Sav.
Bladhia glabra Thunb.
Bladhia japonica Thunb.
Tinus japonica Kuntze
Common Name: Marlberry
Ardisia japonica is an evergreen plant producing more or less woody stems; it can grow 20 - 30cm tall, occasionally to 40cm, spreading by means of a stoloniferous rootstock to form a clump[
The plant is often harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is often grown as an ornamental, and can be used as a trimmed hedge.
E. Asia - China, Japan.
Woods in hills and low mountains all over Japan[
]. Mixed forests or bamboo woods, hillsides and dark damp places; at elevations up to 1,200 metres[
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Ardisia japonica is only hardy in the milder regions of the temperate zome, tolerationg occasional short-lived temperatures down to around -10°c[
Prefers a well-drained humus rich soil in partial shade in a position sheltered from cold drying winds[
The plant grows well in a woodland situation[
A number of cultivars have been developed for their ornamental value[
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[
]. The plant is 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[
Plants can be grown as a trimmed hedge[
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[