Quercus ilex Fagaceae
Holly Oak, Holm Oak KWER-kus I-leks
- Evergreen tree, to 65(100) ft [20(30) m] tall, dense, rounded form. Bark gray, nearly smooth or finely scaly. Leaves simple, alternate, ovate to lanceolate, 3-7 cm long, leathery, tip acute, base usually rounded, margin remotely serrate or entire (leaves on juvenile trees may have holly-like teeth), glossy very dark green above, yellowish or whitish tomentose (downy) below; petiole 6-15 mm long. Fruit (acorn) ovoid, 2-3.5 cm long, about half enclosed by a cup with thin appressed scales.
- Sun or light shade. Excellent for seaside gardens. A good evergreen street tree but so dense it should be thinned to make it more airy and graceful.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 7 Native to southern Europe and northwest Africa (Mediterranean region), including the several subspecies. Naturalized in southern England.
- ilex: Classical name for this tree.
- Holm: prickly