Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Alchornea ilicifolia (J.Sm.) Mull.Arg.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, Epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Mueller Argoviensis, J. (1865) Linnaea 34: 170.

Common name

Holly, Native; Native Holly; Dovewood


A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh.


Pale flat glands visible on the underside of the leaf blade near its junction with the petiole. Leaf blade about 6-7 x 2.5-4 cm, margins with holly-like (Ilex aquifolium) teeth, each tooth with a pungent point and subtended by a major lateral vein. Stipules hairy, about 1.5 mm long.


Male flowers: Flowers in racemes or panicles of racemes, branches less than 5 cm long. Female flowers: Flowers +/- solitary, not numerous, stigmas lobed or lacinate.


Capsules sparsely pubescent, +/- depressed globular, 3-lobed, about 7 x 10 mm, calyx and stigmas persistent. Seeds about 6-7 x 4-5 mm. Aril or caruncle not obvious, smoothly conforming with the outline of the seed. Cotyledons white, much wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons orbicular, about 12-19 mm diam. with a midrib and two major lateral veins radiating from the base. First pair of true leaves with conspicuously toothed margins, the teeth being pungent pointed, about 1 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade margin with holly-like teeth, each with a sharp point and subtended by a major lateral vein. Stipules broad at the base and drawn out into a fine point at the apex. Seed germination time 67 to 268 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as coastal central New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from near sea level to 900 m. Grows in monsoon forest or the drier types of rain forest.

Cladodes ilicifolia Baill., Adansonia 6: 321(1866). Coelebogyne ilicifolia J.Sm., Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Botany 18 : 511(1839), Type: A native of Moreton Bay, on the east coast of New Holland, and its introduction is due to the late Mr. Allan Cunningham.
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