Ilex brevicuspis is an evergreen tree with a longish, pyramidal crown; it can grow 10 - 20 metres tall. The bole can be 30 - 60cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its leaves, which are sometimes used for making matÃ©, and also for its wood. An ornamental tree, it has potential for use in landscaping[
S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, southern and eastern Brazil, Bolivia.
An understorey tree in Araucaria forest and in the Atlantic rainforest[
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Succeeds in full sun and in moderate shade[
The plant is quite slow-growing[
The leaves are sometimes used in a blend to make matÃ© tea, but it is not generally pleasing to the consumer[
]. The leaves are frequently used as an adulteration of matÃ©[
The heartwood and sapwood are not clearly differentiated and oxidise rapidly after cutting. The wood is thick-textured, straight-grained, moderately heavy, soft, with moderate mechanical properties and very low durability. An easy to work timber, but only used locally for making boxes and boards in general[
]. With its attractive appearance and ease of working with, it has the potential for making wood laminates[
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. Sow the seed in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. Germination can be expected within 30 - 50 days[
]. When the seedlings have 4 - 6 leaves, pot them up into individual containers and they should be ready to plant out about 10 months later[
The seed has a viability in storage of more than 1 year[
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