One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An evergreen southern European oak, with dark green glossy leaves.
Quercus ilex, family Fagaceae
- ‘But the Agriculture Department has since confirmed infections in a beech, a horse chestnut and a holm oak in a Cornish garden.’
- ‘Every day at the festival there are performances staged beneath the shade of a giant holm oak in the courtyard garden of a 19th century palace.’
- ‘The gardens which surround the property include beech, lime and holm oak trees while in the eastern corner is an ancient churchyard.’
- ‘I'm currently sitting in Priory Park, on the banks of the city's defences in the shade of a beautiful holm oak so that I can see my laptop's screen on such a bright day.’
- ‘Interspersed with the rocky scrub and holm oaks were olive groves and water-starved vines, their leaves limp, their fruit plump.’
Late Middle English: holm, alteration of dialect hollin, from Old English holen ‘holly’.
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