Fagaceae (beech family) Quercus

Quercus ilex holm oak, holly oak

Quercus ilex branchlet showing leaves (note pale undersides and pointed tips) and acorns, opposite 382 Cambridge Ave, Palo Alto. Sairus Patel, 28 Oct 2018
Quercus ilex leaf and acorn. From: Howard E. McMinn & Evelyn Maino, An Illustrated Manual of Pacific Coast Trees

An evergreen oak with lanceolate leaves of variable size and toothiness, like coast live oak; smooth dark green above, furry below. The large edible acorns are (almost) half enclosed by a cup covered with fine scales. The holm oak was in good repute with Ovid, who sang its praises for having dripped with honey in the Golden Age.

A large specimen is at Mitchell Earth Sciences on Panama Mall, right next to the building at room 132. Two coast live oak (Q. agrifolia) crowding it offer an opportunity for comparison. Three smaller trees are at the southwest corner of Braun Music Center, facing the Tresidder parking lot, also near some coast live oaks. Two large Q. ilex are on Quarry Road, just north of Vineyard Lane. In Palo Alto, it is the dominant street tree at 377 Diablo Court and neighboring houses.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.