Marlberry is a tree or shrub which can grow to a height of as much as 50 feet in ideal circumstances in florida's coastal hammocks, but is commonly 20 - 25 feet tall in cultivation. The crown has upright branches, an irregular to rounded shape with dense foliage. It has whitish scaly bark. Leaves are dark green, alternate, elliptical, leathery, simple and up to 7 inches long flowers are very small, fragrant, white or pink with purple lines or dots and borne as showy terminal clusters. Fruits borne in dense bunches, resemble blueberries, red ripening to black, juicy and abut 3/8 inch in diameter. Fruits contain a single seed and are edible but said not very tasty. Birds eat the fruits; seeds used for propagation. In cultivation, marlberry prefers well-drained soils with an organic top layer. In landscaping, it is an attractive tree or shrub for its leaves and colorful fruits, suited to gardens and parks as a specimen tree or pruned to form a hedge. Marlberry is an ideal choice for native tree gardens.