Quercus ilex

Holly Oak
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Plant Type




Overall Mature Size


Mature Height & Spread

30-60′ x 30-60


Full sun


Medium, Low Water

Flower Color


Bloom Time


Special Features

Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Deer Resistant, Desert Conditions, Coastal Conditions

Container Sizes

#5, #15, 24″ box, 36″ box

Natural Growth Habit


Sunset Garden Zones


Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone


Moderate-growing evergreen tree to 30-60’ tall and wide. This popular variety is initially upright-growing in youth, eventually forming a rounded canopy, with older specimens often forming a more-umbrella-like canopy. Dense-growing foliage is comprised of attractive rich-green leaves with silvery-white undersides, with intermittent spines along their leaf margins. Inconspicuous spring flowers are followed by 1” long, egg-shaped acorns that emerge bright-green, eventually maturing to a medium to dark brown. Highly adaptable, this species grows from coastal regions to warm interior or desert areas, can survive with very little water once established, but can tolerate regular watering provided the soil is fast-draining. Well-suited in large open spaces, as a park, lawn or street tree, and thrives in a full sun exposure. It should be noted that this species is susceptible to Sudden Oak Death (a pathogen that has in recent years claimed a number of these trees in the northern and central regions of California).

USDA Zone: 7A-11
Sunset Zone: 4-24

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