Botanical name

Ilex mitis var. mitis



Common Name

Cape Holly, Witwaterhout, Unduma
Ilex mitis var. mitis
Ilex mitis var. mitis
Ilex mitis var. mitis
Ilex mitis var. mitis


Close relative to the European Holly. A medium-sized to large tree, 8-20m, always found near water in forest. Bark is light brown and irregularly chunky; branchlets white, contrasting with the shiny, dark green foliage, young stems smooth, reddish, with raised dots. Leaves alternate, elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, dark green above, midrib sunken on upper surface, margin entire, sometimes with a few teeth on the upper third, tapering to a point; short purple leaf stalks up to 10mm long. Flowers are small, white, fragrant, in small bunches in leaf axils. Male and female flowers on separate trees, sweetly scented.

Fruits shiny, small, roundish up to 7mm across, tightly packed; attracts birds.

Fresh leaves rubbed together in water make a lather.

Hard, fine-grained white wood, suitable for furniture and fuel.


Coastal Afromontane forest

Flower Date

September to December