Shoebutton ardisia (Ardisia elliptica)

Also known as: shoebutton daisy


How does this weed affect you?

Shoebutton daisy is regarded as an environmental weed in the Northern Territory and Queensland. It grows rapidly and forms dense stands that prevent the establishment of all other species. 

At Nhulunbuy, in the north-east of the Northern Territory, it has formed dense thickets in monsoon vine forests and melaleuca woodlands. These infestations have displaced native groundcover and understorey plants. Naturalised specimens have also been found growing in riparian vegetation within areas of dry rainforest. In northern Queensland it is particularly problematic around Cairns, where it is invading natural areas around the city. If it were to reach its potential distribution it would severely impact native species.

Where is it found?

Shoebutton ardisia is native to the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia. It has naturalised in Queensland around Cairns and in the Innisfail, Wide Bay and South Kennedy districts. It also occurs in the coastal districts of the Northern Territory. It is in the early stages of becoming naturalised in the Port Macquarie and South West Rocks areas of northern NSW.

What does it look like?

Shoebutton ardisia is a branched shrub or small tree usually growing up to 4 m tall. Its alternately arranged leaves are reddish in colour when young and have entire margins. Its star-shaped flowers (6-13 mm across) are borne in clusters in the upper leaf forks of the main branches. The flowers have five pinkish petals and their outer surfaces are covered in orange-to-blackish, resinous dots and streaks. It has rounded 'berries' (5-12 mm in diameter), that turn from green to red when still quite immature, and eventually turn deep purplish or black at maturity.


Shoebutton ardisia is a weed of tropical and sub-tropical regions, mainly growing in wet forests (including rainforests), riparian areas and disturbed sites. It is most commonly found in shade-tolerant habitats but also occurs in open areas.


Brisbane City Council, Weed Identification Tool,

PlantNET, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney, 

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Herbicide options

Contact your local council weeds officer for control advice for Shoebutton ardisia (Ardisia elliptica).

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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
North Coast Regional Recommended Measure*
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfill the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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Reviewed 2017