Ardisia elliptica Thunb.

Sub-Family: Not available
English Name: Duck's Eye
Synonym: Ardisia humilis Vahl.
Common Name: Ardisia, Jet berry, Shoebutton
Flowering & Fruiting Period: June - August
Distribution: Native to the Indian Sub-continent and south-eastern Asia
Habitat: Grown as a garden ornamental
Uses: A slightly sour taste fruit with a hint of starch, but otherwise lacking flavour. The flowers and fruits are cooked as flavouring. A decoction of the leaves is said to assuage retrosternal pains. The leaves are used to soothe and heal wounds. The wood can be used for fuel.
Key Characteristics: Undamaged plants in forest habitats are characterized by a single main stem, producing short, spreading branches. The simple leaves are alternately arranged along the stems and borne on. The leaf blades are oval or somewhat elongated in shape. Theyare somewhat leathery in nature, have entire margins.The flowers are borne on small branches emanating from the upper leaf axils of the main branches. The bases of the flower stalks are clustered togetherat or near the same point towards the end of the flowering branches. The flowers usually have five small sepals and five petals. The petals are pale pink, pale lavender or whitish in colour, somewhat leathery in nature, and are slightly joined together at their bases. These petals are somewhat elongated in shape (i.e. lanceolate) withpointed tips (i.e. acute or attenuate apices). The flowers also have five yellow stamens that surround a slightly longer style topped with atiny pointed stigma. The fleshy fruit are rounded 'berries'.