Quercus ilex

plantation: Sierra Lujar, España


Family: Fagácea
Common names: Encina, Chaparro, Carrasca, Holly Oak, Holm Oak, Evergreen Oak
Type of foliage: Evergreen
Life expectancy: 350 years
Total weight of CO2 captured: 100 Kg
Height: 25 m


Quercus ilex is a large evergreen tree with a broad and dense canopy habit; it normally grows from 10 to 20 meters tall, occasionally reaching 30 meters; the bole is short and it can reach 200 cm in diameter. Holly oak comes from the Mediterranean region of Europe; it’s a highly adaptable species that has been widely planted. It occurs in arid places, woods and hills on limestone. It grows best in areas with hot summers, especially Mediterranean climates with mild winters and hot dry summers. The tree is harvested for mainly local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. The seed can be eaten whole or grounded into a powder; an edible oil is also obtained from the seeds. Quercus species are widely used in traditional medicine, being valued especially for their tannins made of the trees' bark. Several parts of the plant can be used for medical purposes: leaves, bark or seeds in for treatments such as diarrhea, dysentery and haemorrhages. The wood is very durable, strong, hard and heavy.

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