Ilex paraguensis A.St.-Hil.

Paraguay Tea, Holly

Photo credit: Original from Descr. Pinus courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library - (provided by Missouri Botanical Garden) modified to provide labels.

Family: Aquifoliaceae

Genus: Ilex

Category: Tree - Evergreen

Zones: 9 to 11

Size: To 60' tall in the wild, 20' tall in cultivation


Stiff, leathery foliage, white flowers with black, red or yellow berries. Yerba Mate is the tea brewed from the leaves. Consistently moist soil.


Native to Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

Published in Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 9: 351 in 1822.

Also published in Desc. Pinus v.2 t.11 in 1824 The Tea of Paraguay has been referred by Botanists, sometimes to the Ilex Cassine, and at other times, but equally erroneously to the Ilex vomitoria. Indeed its distinguishing characters are so marked, that it will not be easily confounded with these or any of the species of Ilex hitherto published.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner