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Ilex mitis

   (Family: Aquifoliaceae)
   
Afrikaans: waterboom, waterhout, without English: African holly, Cape holly, wild holly, watertree N. Sotho: monamane Xhosa: umDuma Zulu: iPhuphuma  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Tree No.: 397
Height: 10 - 25m
Special properties:
  Frost Tolerant (light)
Rarity Status:
Common
   
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
  Sand (coarse texture, drains easily)
Biome: Forest
 
Flowering time EDIT
                x x x  
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
 
White
 
  Flower scent EDIT
  sweetly scented
  Polinator
  Birds
  Flower info
  Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees
 
 
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf type
Leaf arrangement
Leaf texture Smooth
Bark / Stem type
 
  Leaf info EDIT
  Evergreen
  leaves are a shiny dark green and are carried on plum-coloured stalks
 
 
Fruit type EDIT
Fruit colour
Red
 
  Seed info EDIT
  Fresh seed grows easily. Seed collected from the tree, or those fallen below the tree should be allowed to dry. Trees can be very tall, making collecting off the tree very difficult. They should then be sown into a tray containing a 1:1 mixture of river sand and compost. Seedling mix obtained from nursery centres is also suitable. Seed should be covered lightly with the soil mix and then kept damp. Although germination can be erratic, seeds usually begin to germinate 8-20 days after sowing. The
 
 
Description EDIT
Ilex mitis is a medium sized tree with a straight trunk and an attractive rounded canopy and is the only holly species found naturally in Africa. The glossy green leaves, abundant, sweetly scented white flowers and the profusion of spectacular crimson berries make the Cape holly, truly a tree for all seasons
Growing EDIT
Distribution EDIT
History EDIT
Uses EDIT
When the leaves are rubbed together they give a lather and this was once used by the Knysna woodcutters to wash themselves in the streams of the forest. The Zulus are also aware of this use. This is reflected in their name iPhuphuma which means, 'it foams out'. The Venda name when translated means 'milk-pail washer'. The wood was once used in the construction of wagons for buckboards and occasionally for spokes. It was also in demand for the heels of ladies shoes. It is still used for implement handles and furniture as well as fuel.
Ecology EDIT
A tree of woods and forests, from sea level to high mountains, often found overhanging streams along which it grows. It is variable in size depending on where it is growing. In the forests of Knysna it easily reaches a height of 18 m and may have a trunk diameter of 0.6 m. Brilliant red fruits in autumn attract birds. In the Knysna forests elephants show a particular liking for the leaves.
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References

 
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