The Holm oak or Evergreen oak (Quercus ilex) is ‘native to the Mediterranean and up the Atlantic coast of Europe northwards towards Brittany. Called Ilex by the Romans. Evergreen (of tree or shrub) means retaining green leaves through the winter or dry season. The holm oak reaches 25 metres (82 feet) or more in height. Its smooth grey bark eventually becomes finely scaly. The leaves vary in shape from lanceolate to ovate-oblong. The flowers, both male and female, appear in mid-June. The holm oak has become naturalised in southern England,’ (Nicholson & Clapham, 1979, pp.138, 208). See Montalcino.

Timber: The holm oak provides long-lasting timber (Vedel, 1978).


The Oxford Book of Trees by B.E. Nicholson and A.R. Clapham, revised edition 1979.

Trees and shrubs of the Mediterranean by Helge Vedel, translated from the Danish by Aubrey Rush (Penguin Guides, 1978), p36.