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Holly oak

Botanical Name:

Quercus ilex

Common Name:

Holly oak,Holm Oak,Holly-Leaved Oak,Evergreen Oak

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Description

An evergreen tree of large size, attaining in favourable places a height of 21–28 m, and developing in open situations a huge head of densely leafy branches as much across, the terminal portions of the branches usually pendulous in old trees. The trunk is sometimes over 6 m in girth. The young shoots are clothed with a close grey felt. The leaves are very variable in shape, most frequently narrowly oval or ovate-lanceolate, 4–8 cm long, 1.2–2.5 cm wide, rounded or broadly tapered at the base, pointed, the margins sometimes entire, sometimes (especially on young trees) more or less remotely toothed. When quite young, both surfaces are clothed with whitish down, which soon falls away entirely from the upper surface leaving it a dark glossy green; on the lower surface it turns grey or tawny, and persists until the fall of the leaf; the petiole is 3–16 mm long. Fruits are produced one to three together on a short downy stalk, ripening the first season; the acorns usually 12–18 mm long in the UK, the cups with appressed, downy scales. SubspeciesEdit There are two subspecies: Quercus ilex subsp. ilex. Native in the north and east of the species' range, from northern Iberia and France east to Greece. Leaves narrow; acorns 2 cm (0.79 in) long, bitter tasting. Quercus ilex subsp. rotundifolia (syn. Q. rotundifolia, Q. ballota). Native in the southwest of the species' range, in central and southern Iberia (Portugal and Spain) and northwest Africa. Leaves broader; acorns 2.5 cm (0.98 in) long, sweet tasting.   Mature acorns on a tree in Corsica   Leaves and catkins in spring   Quercus ilex, MHNT

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Taxonomy

Order

Fagales

Family

Quercus - Oaks

Genus

Quercus

Characteristics

Plant Type

Trees

How to Grow

Water

Average

Sunlight

Full Sun, Partial Sun

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