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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Order: Aquifoliales

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid II

Of the five families in this order, only the Aquifoliaceae occurs in southern Africa. Worldwide, there are 21 genera and 536 species in the Aquifoliales, with one species, Ilex mitis (Cape Holly), native to southern Africa and a further nine species of Ilex cultivated in the region.

Families encountered in southern Africa

Aquifoliaceae (holly family)

There are two genera in this family of which the cosmopolitan holly genus Ilex, which includes about 400 species, is by far the largest. The family is represented in southern Africa by one indigenous species, the Ilex mitis (Cape Holly), with nine other species cultivated in gardens in the region.  

Ilex mitis (African holly, Cape holly)

Families not encountered in southern Africa

Cardiopteridaceae, Helwingiaceae, Phyllonoarmaceae, Stemonuraceae