Shoebutton ardisia is an evergreen tree, also known as the duck's eye and coralberry, native to the west coast of India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia and New Guinea. It is a prolific reproducer which has made it a successful invasive species in other locations in the tropics where it has been introduced as a garden ornamental.
Shoebutton ardisia is a tropical understory shrub that can reach heights of up 5 meters. Undamaged plants in forest habitats are characterized by a single stem, producing short, perpendicular branches. Leaves are elliptic to elliptic-obovate, entire, leathery and alternate. Umbellate inflorescences develop in leaf axils of branch leaves. Petals are light pink. Fruits are drupes that first turn red as they mature and then deep purple / black. Pulp staining fingers a deep purple. Seeds are approximately spherical with a diameter of about 5 mm. Shoebutton Ardisia is a large, evergreen shurb, growing up to 1.5-4 m tall. Leaves are 10-20 cm long, elliptic to oblanceolate to obovate, entire, tip narrow, with short stalks. Flowers are 1.5-2 cm across, pink or pinkish- white, in axillary, corymb-like racemes, shorter than the leaves, borne at the bases of new shoots. Petals spread outwards, broad, tube very short. Fruit is 7-13 mm in diameter, depressed-round, black with pink juice when ripe, tipped by style base, supported on persistent sepals. Shoebutton Ardisia is a native of moist ravines and forests almost throughout India. It is also found in the Himalayas, at altittudes of 200-1100 m, Kumaun to Sikkim. Sometimes cultivated in gardens for its evergreen habit and showy pink flowers. Flowering: March-August.
The roots are used medicinally at childbirth. A decoction of the leaves is said to assuage retrosternal pains. The leaves are used to soothe and heal wounds. Ardisia elliptica is a medicinal plant traditionally used for alleviating chest pains, treatment of fever, diarrhea, liver poisoning and for parturition complications