Oaks of the World

General dataClassificationsList of speciesLocal namesBack to
home page

  Quercus ilex
Author L. 1753
Synonyms grammuntia L. 1753
sempervirens Miller 1768
ilex var. angustifolia Lam. in Lam. & DC 1805
ilex var. latifolia Sennen
ilex var. macrophylla Ten. 1831
ilex subsp mirbeckii Sennen 1936
marcetti Pau ex Marcet 1909
montserratensis Svent. & Marcet 1952, not C.H.Mull. 1942
expansa Poiret in Lam. 1811
fordii (Loud.) Carr. 1861
alpina Endl. 1848
crispa K.Koch 1873
integrifolia Steudel 1821
gracilis Lange 1861
smilax L. 1753
variifolia Sweet 1830
Local names yeuse; chêne vert;
Range South Europe (Mediterranean Region); 0-1400 m ;
Growth habit 15 m (may reach 25 m); trunk brittle, short, to 1-2 m in diameter; many-branched; crown at first columnar, becoming domed;

3-7 cm long x 1.5-4.5 wide; persist for 2 years before falling; varying in size and shape (more or less oval, or lanceolate, or rounded, entire or toothed); margin glabrous, clearly hyalin; adaxially dark green, shiny, weakly rough; dull, tawny, densely pubescent beneath, with stellate trichomes 12-14 rayed, and long simple glandular ones; 7-12 vein pairs; midrib straight; petiole 0.4-1.5 cm ;

Flowers early summer; male on catkins yellow, 4-7 cm long, with 4-7 stamens longer than petals; pistillate flowers with sometimes bracts at the base of the future cup;
Fruits acorn 1.5-2 cm; pointed; solitary or paired; sessile or with short tomentose peduncle; enclosed mostly 1/2 by cup, but this character is variable; cup scaly, 1.8 cm high, 1.2 cm wide, scales appressed, triangular, pale grey to tawny; maturing in 1 year; bitter;

Bark, twigs and

bark blackish, broken into small, shallow, square plates; twig greyish pubescent, turning brown green; bud small
(2-4 mm), ovoid-globose, dark tawny, with recurved scales on the terminal bud;
Hardiness zone, habitat usually hardy; all types of soils, including calcareous ones, if drained; sprouts easily and forms root suckers;
Miscellaneous -- A. Camus : n° 140;
-- Sub-genus Cerris, Section Ilex;
-- Lives up to 300 years and more;
-- The natural hybrids of Q. ilex are : Q. x albescens, Q. x autumnalis, Q. x auzandrii, Q. x morisii, Q. x turneri

Subspecies and
--- var. rotundifolia = Q.rotundifolia Lam. 1785 : see this file and see here the comparison with Q. rotundifolia

--- The type species, Q.ilex (or Q.ilex subsp ilex), actually very variable, has been described under several varieties, among them :
_ var. gracilis 
 = Q.gracilis Lange 1861
=  Q.ilex subsp gracilis (Lange) Rivas-Mart. & Saenz 1992
leaves 3 x 1.5 cm, oblong lanceolate, apex acuminate, base cuneate, few teeth near apex, slightly wavy ; greyish green ; young twigs greyish tomentose;

_ var. marcetii (Pau ex Marcet) C.Vicioso 1950
= Q.marceti Pau ex Marcet 1909
"alzina de Montserrat"
leaves 7-9 x 2-3 cm, evergreen, oblong elliptic, entire or with very small teeth; dark green, hairless obove, white tomentose beneath; apex pointed, base attenuate; 7-14 vein pairs; petiole 1.5 cm, brown above, greenish beneath, with stellate hairs; cup with upper scales imbricate, hairy; black acorn 2.5 cm long, 3 to 5 together, with long peduncle, ripening in 1 year; twig grey tomentose, not bending near tip ( hybrids with Q.suber have drooping twigs); numerous globose buds; Spain (near Barcelona), very rare;