Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Holm Oak, Holly Oak, Evergreen Oak
Quercus ilex

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Quercus (KWER-kus) (Info)
Species: ilex (EYE-leks) (Info)

Synonym:Quercus smilax
Synonym:Quercus sempervirens
Synonym:Quercus montserratensis
Synonym:Quercus marcetti

One vendor has this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By Gustichock
Thumbnail #1 of Quercus ilex by Gustichock

By Gustichock
Thumbnail #2 of Quercus ilex by Gustichock

By growin
Thumbnail #3 of Quercus ilex by growin

By Gustichock
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By Gustichock
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There are a total of 20 photos.
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1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral DMersh On Oct 26, 2009, DMersh from Perth
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

Theres a few of these in a local park, they are quite odd looking trees, very like holly aprt from the size. Seems to be two growth patterns, sprawling trees with a short trunk and large canopy of branches while others have a taller central trunk that rises to most of the height of the tree. They bear no resemblance whatever (apart from producing acorns) to the common oak, quercus robur. The bark doesn't develop the heavy texturing of the common oak, remains fairly smooth, greyish brown in colour.

Positive borja_fg On Feb 5, 2008, borja_fg from Madrid
Spain (Zone 8a) wrote:

This tree is present around all the country of Spain. It grows here in almost all kind of soils and climate conditions, except extremelly arid or too much cold weather. The tree is very long-lived.

The most extensive area of Holly oak in my country is all the middle, southern and soutwest parts of Spain. At all these regions Quercus ilex grows healthy with a medium size tree look. The tree has great importance at the economy of these regions (sistema de dehesas). Iberian pigs are feeded with the acorns, getting the iberian ham (jamn de pata negra) which is very appreciated. The acorns also are availed as cattle feed when the pasturage becomes scarce in the fall.

In the north part of it's range and in colder mountain areas (up to 1000 meters altitude), Quercus ilex grows normally as a shrub and is not so common. I have seen Quercus ilex in places with ocasionally 6b frosts in winter and cool summers and they survive, but off course they prefer warmer climates, with mild-cold winters and hot, dry summers. It is highly drought tolerance, but likes moist winters. As well Quercus ilex has some tolerance of shade. I have seen trees growing in deep woodland places, although they looked very weak.

The bad thing of these trees is that they are very slow growing. You can plant a young Quercus ilex tree and surely you will be old and the tree will be still small (even your grandchilds would not see it as a medium size tree)

Neutral Gustichock On Aug 21, 2006, Gustichock from Tandil
Argentina (Zone 10b) wrote:

I dont quite like evergreen oaks. They are messy, they grow in different shapes and they look odd.
Anyway! Despite this, I still give them a chance to live and have a life. I propagate and grow them too as any other tree I do have on my collection.
These acorns germinated in my fridge, so I had to dig in a square of soil I have in my backyard and ease their hunger for growth!
Ive took these acorns from a tree growing in a park in the capital city of Mendoza.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Sacramento, California

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