Wild Weeds – Weed of the Month
Coral Ardisia is a small, upright shrub that was used extensively in the ornamental landscape industry. The dark glossy leaves and bright red berries are attractive, but also extremely invasive in Florida. Ardisia is often found in large colonies due to its high seed germination rate, colonies are often found in wood areas. This category 1 invasive is able to shade out native vegetation in forest understories and juvenile plants can remain small for quite some time until optimum growing conditions are established, such as when large vegetation is removed from cutting or fire.
In areas with a dense groundcover of seedlings, a broadcast spray of a glyphosate or triclopyr-ester may be effective, generally a 2-3% solution. The waxy leaves of ardisia may limit glyphosate uptake, so a surfactant is recommended. Due to the non-selective nature of glyphosate, use precaution to avoid damaging desirable plants. The woody bark of desirable trees may be contacted, but avoid green bark. Triclopyr herbicide is also very effective, especially on larger, more mature specimens. A low-volume basal application mixed with an oil diluent has shown very promising results. Triclopyr applications containing 18% basal oil is effective. Ardisia is also susceptible to 2,4-D, but more so at the seedling stage or regrowth after cutting/burning of mature plants.
Wild Weeds is a monthly spotlight written by Alicia Halbritter, Baker County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent. Wild Weeds highlights plants you may find in Florida on the roadside, while hiking, in the forest, or possibly even in your yard. Searching for more information on a particular plant? Email Alicia at email@example.com for more information/questions.