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Ardisia elliptica Thunb.

Family Name: Primulaceae
Synonyms: Ardisia littoralis Andr.
Common Name: Seashore Ardisia, Mata Pelandok, Mempenai, Rempenai, Shoebutton Ardisia, Mata Pelanduk, Penah, Periah, Buah Letus, Cempenai, Daun Bisa Hati, Mata Ayam, Mata Itek
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Bee Attracting Plants Bird-Attracting Caterpillar Food Plant Native to Singapore Fruit & Vegetable Coastal Roadside Tree / Palm Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Foliage Woody Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m)), Shrub (Woody)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 8 m


Native Distribution India to southeast China, Ryuku Islands, Thailand, Indochina, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Borneo, Philippines to Papua New Guinea.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Coastal Forest), Shoreline (Mangrove Forest, Backshore, Sandy Beach)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status 1 Native to Singapore (Endangered (EN))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have fleshy or leathery leaf blades that are elliptic, and 5-16 by 2.5-7 cm. The new leaves are reddish in colour.
Flowers Its flowers grow in stalked clusters from the leaf angles along the twigs. The flowers have drooping waxy, pink flower buds and are about 15 mm wide.
Fruits Its 10 mm wide fruits are round berries that are flattened at the tip, ripening from reddish-purple to black and contain a single seed.
Habitat It grows along the banks of tidal estuaries, and sandy or muddy shores.
Associated Fauna It is the food plant for the caterpillars of the butterflies Abisara saturate, Nacaduba calauria, and the bagworm moth (Chalioides sumatrensis), and other moths. The fruits are dispersed by birds. Flowers attract Pearly-banded Bee and Blue-banded Digger Bee.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seeds.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The young shoots are eaten.)
Medicinal ( A decoction of its leaves or roots is used to treat heart pains.)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping Its seasonal flushes of colourful young leaves, pink flowers, and reddish-purple fruits that turn black, make it an attractive plant as a hedge or as a gap-filler between roadside trees. It can also be planted in parks and small gardens.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Easy to Grow
Landscape Uses Coastal, General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Beachfront / Shoreline, Hedge / Screening
Thematic Landscaping Bird & Wildlife Garden
SGMP Treatment
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.