“Quercus ilex (Holm Oak) is a variety of evergreen oak, growing to approximately 20-25m in height. Its tolerance of many growing conditions and pollution make it a very versatile plant, often used in urban and coastal settings. Alternatively it can be used for hedging, windbreaks and topiary. Left to grow on its own, it will become a large, structural tree with a rounded crown. Catkins appear in the Spring, followed by small acorns which will mature the same year. The leaves of Quercus ilex are dark green and leathery with a whitish underside. Often the lower leaves are spiny, giving a resemblance to the Common Holly, which is also where the name comes from. It is thought that it may have developed this characteristic to prevent grazing by animals.
Native to the Mediterranean region and is often found growing on its own or with Cedrus atlantica in the Moroccan Atlas mountains.”