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Quercus ilex ballota - (Desf.)A.DC.
                 
Common Name Holm Oak
Family Fagaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Arid places, maquis, woods and hills on limestone[89].
Range Europe - Mediterranean.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary

Quercus ilex ballota Holm Oak


Quercus ilex ballota Holm Oak
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Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Quercus ilex ballota is an evergreen Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Synonyms
Q. ballota. Q. rotundifolia.
Habitats
Woodland Garden Canopy; Hedge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee;  Oil.

Seed - raw or cooked[1, 2, 46, 63, 200]. The seed of this variety is normally sweet. The seed is up to 3cm long[200], it can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed from some trees contains bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. The traditional method of preparing the seed was to bury it in boggy ground overwinter. The germinating seed was dug up in the spring when it would have lost most of its astringency. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent.

Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc[4].
Other Uses
Fuel;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Oil;  Repellent;  Shelterbelt;  Tannin;  Wood.

A mulch of the leaves repels slugs, grubs etc, though fresh leaves should not be used as these can inhibit plant growth[20]. Oak galls are excrescences that are sometimes produced in great numbers on the tree and are caused by the activity of the larvae of different insects. The insects live inside these galls, obtaining their nutrient therein. When the insect pupates and leaves, the gall can be used as a rich source of tannin, that can also be used as a dyestuff[4]. Very tolerant of maritime exposure and of trimming, it can be grown as a shelterbelt tree or hedge in maritime areas[11, 29, 49, 75]. Wood - strong, hard, durable. Used for furniture[46, 61, 89]. It makes a good charcoal[89] and a good fuel, burning well even if green[146]. The bark is a source of tannin[146].
Cultivation details
Prefers a good deep fertile loam which can be on the stiff side[11]. Thrives on shallow chalky soils[188]. Succeeds in all soils except those that are cold and poorly drained[98]. Grows well in sandy soils[188]. Young plants tolerate reasonable levels of side shade[200]. Very resistant to maritime exposure[11, 49, 75]. A very ornamental[1] though quite slow-growing tree[75]. Transplants badly unless moved regularly and this should be done as growth commences in late May or in September[11]. This plant is treated as a distinct species, Q. rotundifolia. Lam. by some botanists[50]. Cultivated for its edible seed in Spain[11, 63]. The tree grows well in Britain but is said to fruit poorly here[11], however a tree at Kew was bearing a very good crop at the end of the hot summer of 1989 and again in 1991[K]. The seed ripens in its first year[200]. Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus[200]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[88, 200].
Propagation
Seed - it quickly loses viability if it is allowed to dry out. It can be stored moist and cool overwinter but is best sown as soon as it is ripe in an outdoor seed bed, though it must be protected from mice, squirrels etc. Small quantities of seed can be sown in deep pots in a cold frame. Plants produce a deep taproot and need to be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible, in fact seed sown in situ will produce the best trees[11]. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Quercus acutaJapanese Evergreen Oak22
Quercus acutissimaSawthorn Oak22
Quercus agrifoliaEncina, California live oak, Coast Live Oak32
Quercus albaWhite Oak, Hybrid oak32
Quercus alienaOriental White Oak22
Quercus aucheriBoz-Pirnal Oak42
Quercus bicolorSwamp White Oak42
Quercus cerrisTurkey Oak, European turkey oak32
Quercus chrysolepisLive Oak, Canyon live oak22
Quercus cocciferaKermes Oak32
Quercus coccineaScarlet Oak22
Quercus dentataJapanese Emperor Oak, Daimyo oak22
Quercus douglasiiBlue Oak32
Quercus durataCalifornia Scrub Oak, Leather oak22
Quercus ellipsoidalisNorthern Pin Oak22
Quercus emoryiBlack Oak, Emory oak32
Quercus engelmanniiEvergreen Oak, Engelmann oak, Mesa Oak22
Quercus falcataSouthern Red Oak, Cherrybark Oak, Spanish Oak, Southern Red Oak12
Quercus floribunda 22
Quercus frainettoHungarian Oak, Italian Oak, Forest Green Oak42
Quercus fruticosa 32
Quercus gambeliiShin Oak, Gambel oak, Rocky Mountain White Oak32
Quercus garryanaOregon White Oak, Garry Oak22
Quercus glaucaRing-cup oak , Ring Cupped Oak, Blue Japanese Oak32
Quercus hispanica 32
Quercus ilexHolly Oak, Evergreen Oak52
Quercus imbricariaShingle Oak, Northern Laurel Oak22
Quercus infectoriaAleppo Oak, Oak22
Quercus ithaburensis macrolepisValonia Oak42
123
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Author
(Desf.)A.DC.
Botanical References
1189200
Links / References
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Subject : Quercus ilex ballota  

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