Book of Mediterranean Trees, Shrubs and Climbers


Quercus ilex  Holm Oak
Family Fagaceae
Genus Quercus  [KWER-kus]  Latin name for an oak tree; some authorities derive word form Celtic quer, fine and cuez, a tree
Species ilex  [I-leks]  ancient L. name for the Holm Oak, now generic name for the hollies which some evergreen oaks resemble
Properties tree
Quercus ilex, the evergreen oak, holly oak or holm oak, is a large evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean region. It takes its name from holm, an ancient name for holly. It is a member of the white oak section of the genus, with acorns that mature in a single summer. The first trees to be planted from acorns into England are still to be found growing within the stately grounds of Mamhead Park, Devon. Britton & Brayley said of Mamhead's grounds The Beauties of England and Wales (1803): The TROBI Champion in Gloucestershire measured 27 1⁄4 ft (8.3 m) in circumference at 1.2 m height in 1993. A specimen in Milo, in Sicily, is reputed to be 700 years old while a small population on the slopes of northern village of Wardija in Malta are said to be between 500 and 1,000 years old. Prior to the Carthaginian period, holm oak was prevalent on the islands.
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