Bois buisFernelia decipiens

  • Forests
  • Mountain slopes and forests
  • Flora
  • Endemic


F. decipiens is an evergreen shrub up to 3 m tall, often with spreading branches and intricate branching. The small limbs are elliptical, rounded, shiny, pointed at the ends, and wedge-shaped at the base. The small flowers are white and fragrant. The fruit are small berries that turn red-purple when ripe.

Habitat and ecology

This species is endemic to Mauritius. The plants grow in intermediate and upland forests and in higher altitudes and form part of the undergrowth of native vegetation. The flowers are pollinated by geckos, birds and flies and the fruits are dispersed by birds and geckos. Occasionally, seedlings can be seen in the wild.


Conservation and threats

F. decipiens is classified as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List. The plant is propagated by seeds in a nursery and used in forest restoration and landscaping projects. The population is declining due to habitat loss and the invasion of exotic species and wild pigs which trample the vegetation of the lower strata.

Did you know?

The vernacular name "boxwood" is a derived from that of European boxwood “buxus” which is similar to it and which is also used for the manufacture of furniture and canes.

The first sample was collected by Karl Friedrich von Gaertner in 1806.