Holm Oak (Quercus ilex)

A dense, easy to maintain evergreen, boasting magnificent season-long interest, tolerant of salt spray, strong winds and drought.
 
Holm Oak or Holly Oak is a robust, undemanding hedge, hardy to -150C. Wind-firm, it serves as an excellent barrier for exposed locations.

Glossy, dark-green, ovate leaves, likened in appearance to Holly, are contrasted in spring by silvery new growth, which becomes darker green and leathery as the foliage matures. A stunning display of golden catkins adorn the hedge in early summer, followed by green acorns that turn brown in autumn before falling.
 

Mediterranean in origin, the Holm Oak, accustomed to drier conditions, will thrive in any soil, provided it is well-drained. Suitable for exposed and coastal sites, although inland frost pockets are best avoided; whether in full sun or partial shade.

Holm Oak, when clipped into formal lines or topiary makes a stunning addition to both traditional and more contemporary planting schemes. Its dense habit makes for an excellent privacy screen and pollution barrier.