Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ilex arnhemensis (F.Muell.) Loes. subsp. arnhemensis

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Flower. © R.L. Barrett
Flower. © R.L. Barrett
Flower. © R.L. Barrett
Leaves and flowers. © R.L. Barrett
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Loesener, L.E.T. () Flora of Australia 22: 202.

Common name

Holly, Northern; Northern Holly; Ilex


Surface of the sapwood turns purple or black on exposure and similarly the inner blaze. Fine oak grain in the wood and inner blaze.


Stipules small, falling early. Leafy twigs green with scattered pale coloured lenticels. Leaf blades about 7.5-13.5 x 2.5-5.5 cm. Lateral veins about 5-8 on each side of the midrib. Fine oak grain in the twigs.


Flowers small, petals about 3-4 mm long in male flowers but much smaller, inconspicuous and scarcely distinguishable from the sepals in the female flowers. Style absent or very short.


Fruits depressed globular, about 4-5 mm diam. containing 12-16 pyrenes.


Cotyledons ovate, about 5-7 mm long. First few pairs of leaves with small conspicuous teeth. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves +/- elliptic, apex acuminate, margin smooth or serrate, glabrous on the upper surface; stipules very small. Seed germination time 45 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Probably endemic to Australia, widespread in WA and NT. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 250 m. Grows in well developed rain forest and gallery forest, usually near water or along gullies.

Byronia arnhemensis F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 2: 119(1861), Type: In vallibus ad montem Providence Hill terrae Arnhemicae, F. Mueller.
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