Ilex, usually a smaller tree, frequently of rather shrub-like appearance, with abundant glossy dark-green leaves, generally ovate in shape and more or less prickly at the margin, but sometimes with the edges entire; the under surface is hoary; the acorns are oblong on short stalks.
The ilex, also known as the "holm oak" from its resemblance to the holly, abounds in all the Mediterranean countries, showing a partiality for the sea air.
The characteristic cypress, ilex and stone-pine, however, are native trees, the last-named flourishing especially near the coast.
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