Ilex mitis (L.) Radlk.
var. mitis

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Ilex mitis var. mitis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba Botanic Garden

Ilex mitis var. mitis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba Botanic Garden

Ilex mitis var. mitis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba Botanic Garden

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Ilex capensis Sond.
Common names: African holly (English) Cape holly (English)
Frequency: Locally common
Status: Native
Medium sized evergreen tree. Leaves alternate, elliptic to lanceolate, dark green; margin entire or with scattered teeth in the apical half. Young branchlets and leaves distinctly purple tinged. Flowers in small dense axillary clusters, white, unisexual, sexes on different trees. Fruit a shiny round berry, red when ripe.
Derivation of specific name: mitis: mild, gentle
Habitat: In riverine and evergreen forest.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Sep - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in montane and riverine areas across Africa and Madagascar.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 75. as Ilex mitis (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 492. As Ilex mitis (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 33.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 21.

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 587. (Includes a picture).

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 28.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 18. As Ilex mitis

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 254. As Ilex mitis

Goodier, R. & Phipps, J.B. (1961). A revised checklist of the vascular plants of the Chimanimani Mountains Kirkia 1 Page 58.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 19.

Mendes, E.J. (1966). Aquifoliaceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(2) Pages 353 - 355. (Includes a picture).

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 27.

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 332 - 333. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 45.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 160 - 161. (Includes a picture).

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Chapman, J.D. (2001). Evergreen forest flora of Malawi Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Pages 150 - 152. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 88.

Other sources of information about Ilex mitis var. mitis:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Ilex mitis var. mitis
Flora of Mozambique: Ilex mitis var. mitis
Flora of Zambia: Ilex mitis var. mitis

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ilex mitis
African Plant Database: Ilex mitis
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ilex mitis
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ilex mitis
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Ilex mitis
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Ilex mitis
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ilex mitis
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Ilex mitis
iNaturalist: Ilex mitis
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ilex mitis
JSTOR Plant Science: Ilex mitis
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Ilex mitis
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ilex mitis
Plants of the World Online: Ilex mitis
Tropicos: Ilex mitis
Wikipedia: Ilex mitis

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Ilex mitis var. mitis., retrieved 1 April 2023

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