Alternative common names:
Inkberry, Jet berry
Evergreen, glabrous shrub or small tree to 5 m tall, with smooth stems and new foliage often reddish. It is listed in the Global Invasive Species Database, where it is regarded to be among the top 100 of the world's worst invasive alien species.Due to its high reproductive output and high shade-tolerance, very dense carpets of seedlings can form underneath adults in ideal conditions.
Where does this species come from?India, China, and Southeast Asia.
What is its invasive status in South Africa?NEMBA Category 1b.
Where in South Africa is it a problem?KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape
How does it spread?Spread by dispersal seeds. Birds and other animals eating the fruits are the main principal dispersal agents.
Why is it a problem?
The plant forms dense thickets in monsoon vine forests and melaleuca woodlands which have displaced indigenous groundcover and understorey plants.
What does it look like?
Leaves: Alternate, to 20 cm (8 in) long, oblong to oval, fleshy, leathery, gland-dotted below, with margins entire.
Flowers: These flowers have five pinkish petals and their outer surfaces covered in tiny black spots axillary clusters, star shaped, 13 mm (0.5 in) wide, with mauve-colored petals.
Fruit/seeds: Rounded drupe, 6 mm (
Does the plant have any uses?
This species has been widely grown as a garden ornamental