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Ardisia japonica 'Nishiki'


Plant Type:


Ardisia japonica 'Nishiki' - Another lovely variegated Marlberry with all new foliage irregularly splashed with gold and pink. Whereas leaves on most cultivars are somewhat elongated those of 'Nishiki' tend to be broader. Upon first glance they actually reminded me of heavy-duty leathery apple leaves. Pink flowers are the clarion call to tympani of persistent red berries in the circadian seasonal marching band upon this fine ground cover. Perfect planted in fertile, moisture-retentive soil set in dappled to open shade. Early morning sun is fine - just keep it out of harsh midday and afternoon sun. Occasional brief bouts of dryness will be okay but arid condition is an anathema to keeping a garden carpet happy. This will make a gorgeous ground cover. Established potted plant from cutting.


8-12 in


24-36 in




(6)7 to 9
What is my hardiness zone?

Characteristics and Attributes for Ardisia japonica 'Nishiki'

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons

Autumn Interest

  • Fruit / Berries / Seed Heads


  • Dappled Shade
  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Shade


  • Massing
  • Bank
  • Border
  • Edging
  • Evergreen
  • Ground Cover

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderately Fast


  • Moist
  • Fertile
  • Humus Laden
  • Draining
  • Organic


  • Garden Origin

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown

Genus Overview: Ardisia

Family: Primulaceae · Common Name: Coralberry, Marlberry

Ardisia japonica, known commonly as Coralberry and Marlberry, is a shrubby, ground covering member of Primulaceae. Numerous species exist from the New World, the Pacific Islands, Australia, Asia with a vast number of species occurring in the tropics. We grow a number of fine selections from the species, A. japonica. These grow from 10 to 16(+) inches tall. Leaves are usually whorled or at least in an opposite template. Late spring flowers are pale pink to white, though small they are quite pretty and are held in racemes. The fruit that follows transforms from green to brilliant red and is persistent. "Berries" can approach the size of a dime and sometimes a little large. They are rounded and look like miniature apples. Ardisia, in its 2,500 year history of Chinese folk medicine, considers Ardisia japonica as one of the 50 fundamental herbs. We generally grow it for its phenomenal ornamental character. They are resplendent as they ground cover in shady, dappled or early morning or late day sun. Late morning to latish afternoon filtered light is important. Fertile, moisture retaining ground is a requirement. The many selections provide delight in their ground covering capacity. Not as well appreciated in U.S. gardens these plants are worthy where they can be grown outdoors. But potted plants allow for close up appreciation for their many merits - 4 season interest for sure - farther north if a cool window, porch, greenhouse or conservatory are part of your domain. USDA climate zones 7 to 9(10).