by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Jun 2024      ()
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Quercus ilex   (Evergreen Oak)

Quercus ilex  (FAGACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Quercus ilex - datasheet created on Oct-2007. Retrieved from on 24-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Quercus ilexL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 995 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Quercus calicina
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Fagaceae Dumortier (The Oak Family)
3 species from the Fagaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Evergreen Oak, Holm Oak, Holly Oak

Maltese name(s) :

Balluta, Siġra tal-Ġandar

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte ( high trees usually over 10 m high )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Schedule II of [S.L. 549.123] (Trees protected in selected areas)

Red List (1989) :

Threatened status for the Maltese Islands and has been listed in the Red Data Book (1st ed.)

Flowering Time :

April – May

Colour of Flowers:

Inconspicuous or Yellow


Mildy toxic, can cause adverse conditions if consumed in large quantities

Name Derivation :

ilex: Latin name for the Holly plant, with refere to the shape of the leaves with small bristle-tipped corners on the margin. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Encouraged to be planted in the wild that is in rural areas including ODZ.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Maquis and forest margins, especially near the coast
Preferred habitat in Malta: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Botanical Description: Evergreen tree up to 25 m, or shrub; twigs and buds grey-tomentose. Leaves 3-7 cm, thick but not rigid, with cuneate or rounded base, entire, mucronate-dentate or spinose-serrate, glabrescent and smooth above, grey-tomentose and with prominent veins beneath; midrib straight; petiole 6-15 mm; oblong-ovate to lanceolate, dark green above, with 7-11 pairs of lateral veins. Stipules subulate, thick, densely hairy. Perianth-lobes lanceolate, subacute; anthers mucronate. Fruit ripening in the first year; involucral scales appressed, flat. Fruit bitter.
Distributional range: Mediterranean region, extending to N. Spain and W. France but not reaching western parts of Spain and Portugal. Planted elsewhere in W. & S. Europe, and sometimes naturalized.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Introduced in  Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Switzerland, Russia and former USSR
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ag Al Bl Co Cr Cz Ga Gr He Hs IJ It Ju Li LS Lu Ma Sa Si Tn Tu(A) [Ca Cy]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (22 images)
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-0.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-1.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-2.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-3.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-4.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-5.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-6.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-7.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-8.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-9.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-10.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-11.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-12.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-13.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-14.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-15.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-16.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-17.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-18.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-19.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-20.
   Quercus ilex   -   Image Code: QRCIL-21.

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