Holly Oak
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Holly Oak
E Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Holly Oak • Urdu: Breh
Botanical name: Quercus baloot    Family: Fagaceae (Beech family)
Synonyms: Quercus ilicifolia

Holly Oak is an evergreen small tree or a shrub, 2.5-8 m tall. Young branches and shoots are greyish woolly. Leaves are leathery, oblong-ovate to obovate or elliptic or almost round, 2.5-7.5 x 2.5-8 cm, entire or spiny-toothed, upper surface green, lower pale green; leaf-stalk 3-4 mm long. Male flowers are borne in catkins, 3.3-5 cm long, lax, velvet-hairy; stamens 5-7; anthers hairy, oblong about 1.2 mm long, filaments 2 mm long. Female flowers are borne on 2-4.2 cm long flower-cluster-stalks; styles 3-5. Cupule 1.2-l.3 cm broad, enclosing 1/2 to 3/4 of the nut; acorn 1.5-1.7 cm long, yellowish-brown, becoming hairless. Holly Oak is a hardy tree found in the inner dry valleys of the Himalayas from Afghanistan to W. Himalaya, at altitudes of 1800-3000 m. It is usually gregarious and often associated with blue pine. Flowering: April-May.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Kinnaur District, Himachal Pradesh.

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