Screen shot 2013-05-27 at 22.27.40

Quercus ilex, the Holm Oak or Holly Oak is a large evergreen tree native to the Mediterrenean. Its name  is from HOLM an ancient name for holly. Quercus ilex is a can grow 20–27 m tall. Its wood is hard and tough, and has been used since ancient times for general construction purposes as pillars, tools, wagons (Hesiod, Works and Days 429), vessels, and wine casks. It used as well as firewood, or in charcoal manufacture.

The acorns are edible (toasted or as a flour. Boiled in water, the acorns can also be used as a medicinal treatment for injury dis-infections.

It forms a picturesque rounded head, with pendulous low-hanging branches. Its size and solid evergreen character gives it an imposing architectural presence that makes it valuable in many urban and garden settings. While Holm Oak can be grown in much of maritime Europe, it is not tolerant of cold continental winters.