Ilex theezans is usually a small, evergreen tree with a globose crown; it can grow from 12 - 18 metres tall, though occasionally it is smaller and more shrub-like[
]. The smooth bole can be 30 - 50cm in diameter[
The leaves are sometimes gathered from the wild for local medicinal use. They are also sometimes used as a substitute for Yerba mate (Iles paraguariensis), but are considered to be inferior and are not liked by the buying public[
]. The wood is also sometimes used locally. An ornamental tree, it can be used in urban plantings[
S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, southern and eastern Brazil.
Open formations at the edges of forests; Araucaria forests; coastal plains where it can become abundant in the arboreal vegetation near the coast[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of subtropical to tropical areas, often at lower elevations in the subtropics but ascending to higher elevations in the tropics.
Succeeds in a sunny position or dappled shade[
]. Succeeds in most soil conditions[
The leaves are used as a substitute for, or mixed with, Yerba Mate tea[
]. They give a more bitter flavour, used by those who like it without sugar[
The leaves are diuretic, stimulant and stomachic[
The fine to medium-textured wood is moderately heavy, soft and easy to work with but with poor mechanical properties and low durability[
]. It is quite ornamental and is used for making laminates for furniture; pianos; general utensils etc[
Seed - usually slow to germinate because they have a hard seedcoat[
]. They can be stratified in damp soil, which will speed up the ingress of moisture and reduce germination time. Sow the seeds in light shade in a nursery seedbed. Germination rates are moderate[
]. Pot the seedlings up into individual containers when they are 4 - 6cm tall[
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