A very rarely seen oak from the mountains of S Spain and North Africa. It forms a sturdy, domed, medium sized evergreen tree in the wild, the foliage being rounded and quite glaucous in most specimens, spiny when young. Very drought tolerant, and closely related to the Holm Oak, Q. ilex. Hardy, but very rarely grown in the UK, though good specimens can be seen here, such as RHS Wisley etc. Tolerant of acid or alkaline soils, thin or deep, and a very wide temperature range. The acorns of some specimens are sweet and can be eaten like chestnuts.