Common name: Boxwood

Scientific name: Mellissia begonfolia

IUCN status: Extinct



This extract was written by John Charles Mellis, a Naturalist who spent time on the Island, and produced his famous work in 1875 on the natural history of the Island.


The native Boxwood, now an extremely rare plant, but still found growing on the south-eastern side of the Island, at Long Range and Stone Top, where it attains a height of about eight feet. The stems are very bent, crooked, and branching, seldom exceeding two inches in thickness. The leaves are large when the plant is young, but small as it grows older. Its pretty white blossoms appear in the month of October, under the leaves so as to be scarcely visible without lifting them up. A species of Succinea (Snail) feeds upon the plant. The dry branches are gathered by the natives for firewood.