One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The holm oak.
- ‘It has cypress and ilex and olive trees to set in picturesque contrast against the bleached earth.’
- ‘Set beneath the canopy of a large ilex, Campo Baeza's building is composed of two parts: an ethereal superstructure and a horizontal concrete platform.’
- ‘Then later on, with perhaps ten miles behind you, Paco and Pajarito will be there beneath the ilex trees with a couple of large cold boxes.’
- ‘In 1998 the Council of State agreed to the demolition of the ‘Monster of Vietri’, a hotel built by pulverizing an ilex wood and the shoreline on the Amalfi coast.’
- ‘It is made from the dried, pulverized bodies of a scale insect, Coccus ilicis, which is a parasite on an ilex oak, the kermes oak.’
2A tree or shrub of a genus that includes holly and its relatives.
Genus Ilex, family Aquifoliaceae
- ‘Areas of granite and sandstone became colonized by maquis, a low, dense cover of ilex, briars, broom, tree heathers, and laurels.’
- ‘Behind the high walls, hidden by a long screen of ilexes, you are suddenly back in the eighteenth century, surrounded by the obelisks and mausolea of sea captains and corsairs, exiled aristocrats and shipwrecked plantation owners.’
- ‘They walked together in Maximus's garden, down white colonnades, around marble ponds fringed with mosaic, through a complex of rose-beds, past ornamental balconies and sculptured ilexes.’
- ‘Increasing numbers of walkers are attracted by the network of well-marked footpaths on the Portofino promontory to the west - a wild, rocky place bristling with myrtle, gorse, hawthorn and ilex.’
- ‘Then add a single tall stem of red ilex berries for the final touch.’
Late Middle English: from Latin, ‘holm oak’.
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