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Maytenus undata

   (Family: Celastraceae)
Afrikaans: kokoboom English: South African holly, Koko tree N. Sotho: Iqayi emhlope  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 3m
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Summer
Preferred altitude: 200 - 2100m
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Biome: Forest
Flowering time EDIT
x x x x x       x x x x
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Flower info
  Small greenish yellow or pinkish white flowers in axillary clusters appear through spring and summer.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf margin
Leaf arrangement
  Leaf info EDIT
  Leaves alternate, variable, ovate, elliptic-oblong to almost round, up to 13 × 9 cm, pale to dark green, paler below, somewhat leathery; margin more or less distinctly gland-toothed. The leaves typically show a whitish line when folded up. Variable leaf forms, although the toothing of the edges is a characteristic feature; ovate, oblong, leathery, pale green or greyish, although sometimes dark green; a dark mark at the tips of the leaf toothing.
Fruit type EDIT
Fruit colour
Fruit size Length: 5mm   Width: 7mm
Seed colour
  Seed info EDIT
  Dehiscent reddish brown, three-lobed capsules expose bright yellow seeds.
Description EDIT
An evergreen, often a much-branched shrub of around 3m; occasionally in dense forest conditions it may be an erect, single-stemmed tree of four to five times that height.

A very variable species, partly dependent on the area in which it grows.

Bark grey-brown, smooth to finely fissured, flaking to reveal pinkish under bark.
Growing EDIT
Grown from seed or cuttings, best in forest conditions with much leaf material or compost in the soil and regular watering.

Grows better in medium to higher rainfall areas.
Distribution EDIT
Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Free State, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga.
Widespread in Africa, Madagascar and the Comoro Islands.
Bushveld, riverine bush, forest edges and in dense forests.

Often found along the margins of forest, in woodland and on rocky hillsides, often among boulders and on termite mounds.
History EDIT
Garden tree or shrub that attracts fruit-eating birds.

The wood is used for making smaller items such as tool handles.
Ecology EDIT
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