Ilex mitis

Ilex mitis

Common Names

Cape Holly (english)
Without (afrikaans)
Mutanzwa-khamelo (venda)
iPhuphuma (zulu)


Genus Ilex
Species mitis
SA Plant Number 397
Basionym Ilex mitis


Ilex mitis is a hardy, small to medium sized, evergreen tree with almost white bark. It has a graceful rounded crown of glossy, dark green leaves that are purplish-red when they first flush.

Massed clusters of small, sweetly scented, white flowers are borne from October to February. (Male and female flowers on separate trees, therefore only female plants bear fruit).

These are followed by tightly packed decorative red berries that attract flocks of fruit eating birds.

It grows better in moist conditions near water but can withstand dry conditions. With its beautiful shape it makes a good avenue tree.

Although this beautiful rounded tree can grow to huge proportions in forest conditions, it is normally a small to medium sized tree.

The leaves are used as a soap substitute.

Size 3 to 8m



Garden Uses:
Good avenue tree.
Leaves make a good soap substitute. Pieces of bark are sometimes chewed as a purgative.


Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal, Free State, Eastern Cape, Western Cape


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