The small, evergreen shrub/tree belongs to the holly plants family and a famous, caffeine-containing national
drink (maté tea) is made from its leaves. In Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, it is drunk million times every day. Even South American Indians already appreciated its stimulating effect. The leaves are dried by smoke and crushed afterwards. The plant grows few branches, its leaves are oval and slightly carved at the margins. Thick tufts of 30-40 white flowers appear during the flowering period. The small fruits are red-violet in colour. In nature, birds need to digest the fruits/seeds first (ornitochor) before they can germinate.