Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Ilex paraguariensis
St.Hil., Aquifoliaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 8 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Brazilian tea, mate, Paraguay tea, Paraguayan tea, yerba mate

French: thé du Paraguay

Spanish: maté, yerba maté

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Evergreen shrubs or small trees 4-7 m tall.  Leaves dark green, coriaceous, elliptic to obovate, 2.5-13 (-25) cm long, 2-6.4 cm wide, margins undulate and coarsely crenate in the upper 2/3.  Flowers in numerous small cymes along the current year's growth, usually 1-2 cm long, peduncles 0.5-0.8 cm long; calyx lobes 4, 0.4-0.6 mm long; corolla lobes usually 4-5, 1.5-2 mm long; ovary 4-celled" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 224).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, "cultivated and sparingly naturalized in mesic valleys" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 224).

Propagation:  Seed, spread by birds (Staples et al., 2000; p. 16).

Native range:  Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 224).


Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 224)
Voucher cited: Grant 7544 (BISH)

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This page was created on 10 MAY 2005 and was last updated on 23 NOV 2008.