Quercus ilex (holm oak)

Quercus ilex (holm oak) is an evergreen tree. It reaches a height of growth up to 20 meters. Maximum it can live up to 500 years.

The leaves are partly leathery and spiny. A little they remind of the leaves of holly.

In the Mediterranean region, the holm oak is a classic. It occurs from Portugal to Turkey, from Tunisia to Morocco. Due to climate warming, it is given good chances also in Central Europe. In Germany, it now occurs sporadically in the Rhine rift valley and in the Weser-Ems region. Occurrences are also known in California and in South America and even in Great Britain.

Very interesting: the acorns can be eaten raw or cooked. Something that otherwise (roasted) is known only from the bourbon oak. The taste can be sweetish but also somewhat bitter. Often the acorns are made into a coffee substitute or oil. Especially the acorn coffee is highly recommended! In the case of other oak species, bitter substances must first be flushed out by elaborate processes before they can become a flour substitute in parts.

The stone acorns are also often used for fattening pigs. The wood represents a very good firewood.

See also: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steineiche

Important: Drought and high temperatures are not a problem for this species of oak (when grown tall). Young plants must necessarily be watered during drought. The plant tolerates short temperatures down to minus 15 degrees Celsius, but prolonged sub-zero temperatures severely damage the tree. The tree is wind tolerant. Quercus ilex likes loose, stony or gravelly soil with clay content. A high lime content is also interesting for this species.

Interestingly: Despite its occurrence in the Mediterranean region, the holm oak loves moisture and therefore likes to stand by ponds or watercourses. Since the holm oak is rather sensitive to exhaust fumes and smoke, it is unsuitable as an urban tree. Road salt, however, she tolerates quite well.

In Central Europe, the holm oak is classically grown as a potted plant, which can also move to warmer areas of the house.

You can buy this oak as an acorn here: https://quercus.guru/produkt/quercus-ilex-steineiche/