Quercus ilex L.

Frost-hardy, rounded evergreen tree with smooth, dark bark, lance-shaped, entire or toothed leaves, to 8cm long, and nearly round acorns.  To 25m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The Holly-Oak of South-Europe ; extending also to Algeria and to the Himalayas, which it ascends up to about 10,000 feet.  Height of tree rather less than that of the English oak, but occasionally it is very lofty.  Wood in use for shipbuilding and wheelwrights’ work, tools, agricultural implements, but requires to be well seasoned. Yields also good tan-bark.’  [Von Mueller - Select Extra-Tropical Plants readily eligible for Industrial Culture or Naturalisation p.448/1895].

Cultivated in Britain since at least 1581.  [JD].  A useful hedge species.  Saint-Hilaire Arb. pl.19/1824.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.802/1843].  Probably a very early introduction to the gardens.  Edward Macarthur provided seed to the Sydney Botanic Garden in 1823.  Plants were also received per ‘Sovereign’ February 1831 as ‘Evergreen Oak’.  [MP A2948].  A large specimen, probably the original planting, survives at the original homestead, at Camden, Belgenny Farm, now the property of the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute.  Another large tree is located in the Old Orchard, also the property of the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute.


Quercus ilex Lour. (1790) = Quercus helferiana A.DC.

Published Feb 03, 2010 - 03:22 PM | Last updated Mar 18, 2010 - 10:52 AM

Figured are the oval, toothed leaves, ripe acorns and ripe stamens.  Saint-Hilaire Arb. pl.19, 1824.

Quercus ilex L. | Saint-Hilaire Arb. pl.19/1824 | BHL

More details about Quercus ilex L.
Family Fagaceae
Region of origin

South West Europe

Common Name

Holm oak, Holly oak, Evergreen oak

Name in the Camden Park Record

Quercus ilex - Evergreen Oak 

Confidence level high