Quercus ilex

Quercus ilex

Family :


English Name:

Holly oak, Holm oak

Local Name :

Baloot, Choor

Description :

This is a large size, long living evergreen tree of about 21 to 28 m height and densely leafy branches. The trunk is greyish, strong and has the waste of about 3 to 6 m. The bark is dark brown and finely cracked and twigs are slender. The leaves are leathery, shiny, dark green to back in colour and are arranged in alternate form and up to 4 to 8cm long and 1 to 3 cm broad. Petiole is 5 to 15 mm long. Flowers are very small and monoecious which means plant has separate male and female reproductive parts. After pollination by wind, female flowers develop into acorns, which are smaller and have a more pointed tip than those of English or sessile oaks. Young acorns are green and mature to a dark red, brown before falling and fruit (acorn) is about 2 to 3.5 cm long and fully mature fruit has brown colour.

Distribution :

It is native to native to the Mediterranean region and can grow at moderate or lo elevations. I have also been cultivated in the Europe. It has been also introduced in Pakistan. Trees are resistant to salt-spray from the sea and are often planted as a windbreak in coastal areas. However, they cannot grow in cold conditions and die or lose their leaves in severe winters.

Uses :

It has a great horticultural use. It gives itself well shape during growth is found in parks and gardens. The wood of the tree is very tough and hard, so it has been used for general construction purposes. It is also used as firewood. It is used in the traditional medicine of many cultures, being valued especially for their tannins. It also has been used as a mouthwash to treat toothache or gum problems and is applied topically as a wash on cuts, burns, various skin problems, hemorrhoids and oral, genital and anal mucosa inflammation. The bark is a rich source of tannins, and they can be used as a dyestuff and for waterproofing rope.


(Manos et al., 1999)