Myrsine is green!


Sherry Shipley (Class of Fall 1998) coined the adage, Myrsine is green, as a mnemonic for differentiating marlberry (Ardisia escallonioides) from myrsine (Myrsine cubans). Both of these plant belong to the same plant family, Myrsinaceae (myrsine).

Myrsine is pictured above in full sun along with saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) at the Brevard Barrier Island Sanctuary. Its growth habit is far more compact in sun than in shade as pictured below at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area …


Note that the new growth on myrsine is green, while new growth on marlberry is brownish. The fruits of marlberry are held in terminal panicles, while the fruits of myrsine are held right along its stems (sessile) …


When ripe, these tiny fruits are black and enjoyed by birds of all sizes and small mammals …


These fruits are preceded by tiny pollinator-attracting flowers along the stems …


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