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Zones 4-24, 32
Full Sun
Minimal Water

Quercus ilex

Holly Oak, Holm Oak
Evergreen, Trees


Appearance and hardiness of Oaks vary widely, but all produce acorns preceded by inconspicuous flowers. Single nuts are more or less enclosed in a cuplike cap covered with many closely set scales. In some species, the acorns are edible,with a sweet flavor. Some oaks are widely planted over large areas, while others have a limited range

Quercus ilex

Mediterranean native. To 30–60 ft. tall and wide, with dense, rounded head and smooth dark gray bark. Leaves vary in shape and size but are usually oval to lance shaped, 1–3 in. long, with smooth or prickly edges; rich dark green on top, covered with gray or yellow hairs beneath. Egg-shaped to nearly round, 1– 1/2 -in. acorns are gray brown with darker lines, half-enclosed with deep cap that tapers to stem. Tolerates salt air; will grow in constant sea wind but tends to be shrubby there. Inland, growth rate can be fairly fast but varies with soil and water conditions. Good evergreen street or lawn tree where coast live oak (Q. agrifolia) is difficult to maintain, though it lacks that tree’s open grace.

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