Quercus ilex, the Holm Oak or Holly Oak is a large evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean region. Quercus ilex is a medium-size tree 20–27 m tall with finely square-fissured blackish bark and leathery evergreen leaves. The leaves are dark green above and pale whitish-grey with dense short hairs below. The leaves on the lower branches of young trees are often toothed or somewhat spiny - possibly as protection from grazing animals. The flowers are catkins, produced in the spring; the fruit is an acorn, which matures in about six months.
Holm oak is the essence of mediterranean forest.