T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Olearia ilicifolia (Mountain holly)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Olearia
Species: O. ilicifolia
Binomial name: Olearia ilicifolia
Common name: Mountain holly, Hakeke,  New Zealand holly 

Olearia ilicifolia is an evergreen, much-branched spreading large shrub or small tree, reaching 5 m high. 
Its stiff shiny grey-green narrow, spear-shaped leaves are 5–10 centimetres long with undulating and prickly-toothed edges. The underside of the leaves have a yellowish to white closely pressed tomentum. 
The small daisy flowers which appear late spring to mid summer are white with yellow centres and grow in large terminal corymbs.  
Olearia ilicifolia is found in lowland to subalpine forest, and scrub from sea level to 1,200 metres in the North Island, South Island and Stewart Island.  It is growing on Mt Egmont/Taranaki.

It is closely related to the sub-alpine Olearia macrodonta, with which it shares the names Mountain Holly and New Zealand Holly, however it is much more common than Olearia macrodonta. 

Olearia ilicifolia growing on the side of the Oaotit Stream, private land next to Mt Egmont Reserve, South Taranaki. 370 masl.  Late December
  



Photographed at the North Egmont DOC parking area. (February)





Top surface of the leaves.


Under surface of a leaf.