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Cape Holly

Ilex mitis

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Ilex mitis is a fairly fast-growing tree species, capable of growing 0.8 m a year, making it a good species for use as hedging. It transplants well, but needs protection whilst young. Originating from Southern Africa, this species grows best in dry environments when planted alongside a running stream. It is one of the few indigenous evergreen trees that can cope with frost, making it especially suitable for cold areas. To be sure of fruit, plant a small grove of these trees and remove extra males later.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Autumn
Fruiting time
Spring, Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Generally not harvested

Propagation

Seed
Seed germinates easily. Allow to dry before sowing into trays with 1:1 mixture of river sand and compost. Cover lightly with the soil mix and keep damp, germination takes 8-20 days.

Special features

Attracts birds
Many bird species feed on the berries.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts bees
Hedge plant
Because of their fast growth they make good hedging and screening plants.
Wet sites
Occurs naturally along river and streams or in moist areas of Afro-montane forest.

Geography

Origin
Africa, Southern Africa, from Cape Town in the South, all the way up past Zimbabwe and Malawi in the north.
Natural climate
Along natural streams in the Fynbos biome.

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Wet
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Personality

Family
Aquifoliaceae
Flower colour
White
Scent
Strong

Problems

Generally trouble free

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