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A picture of a Holm Oak

Holm Oak

Quercus ilex

Also known as

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

Holm oak - quercus ilex - Kew Gardens by Dinkum (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








20 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Holm Oak

A close up of some green Quercus ilex leaves
A close up of a green Quercus ilex leaf
A close up of some green Quercus ilex leaves and acorn
The bark of a Quercus ilex tree
Some yellow Quercus ilex flowers

Holm Oak Overview

Quercus ilex is also commonly known by the names holm oak, holly oak and evergreen oak. This lovely Mediterranean tree does well in coastal locations (UK). It is a big evergreen tree species in the beech and oak family, Fagaceae, it typically exceeds 12m in height and a spread of over 8m, given enough space to grow. The bark is finely cracked and dark brown-black in colour, with a rough texture. The crown of this tree is large and rounded, leaves are oval in shape, shiny on the upper surface and whitish on the underside. Leaves are whitish upon emergence and develop dark green colouring with age. Flowers are arranged in a hanging spike, termed a catkin and they are yellow and wind pollinated.

Common problems with Holm Oak

Leaf-mining moths.

How to propagate Holm Oak


Sow seed when ripe.


Grafting is typically done in mid-autumn or late winter.

Special features of Holm Oak

Attractive leaves

Hedge plant

Drought resistant

Other uses of Holm Oak

Specimen, hedging. Summer interest. Suitable for coastal conditions.

Native British Trees

Learn about the trees native to the UK and the critical role trees play in securing the future of our planet.

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Multi Stemmed Trees

With a little formative work these trees can be trained into multi- stemmed specimens.

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