One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A very small evergreen Mediterranean oak that sometimes remains a shrub. It has prickly hollylike leaves and was formerly prized as a host plant for the insect kermes.
Quercus coccifera, family Fagaceae
- ‘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.’
- ‘In Bulgaria the Kermes oak is found in the Strouma valley, to the south of the Kresna gorge as well as in the southern part of Mesta valley.’
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