Position: Full sun to partial shade
Soil: Free draining soil
Flowering period: Spring
Eventual Height: 4m
Eventual Spread: 4m
Hardiness: 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Quercus coccifera is an evergreen shrub (rarely a small tree) with a dense bushy habit. Its leathery dark green leaves are elliptic with spiny margins, up to 4cm long and 3cm across. Its flowers are monoecious and wind pollinated. Its male flowers are yellow catkins. Its fruit are acorns which are held in a cup and up to 2cm across. Its root may produce suckers which may aid its slow spread.
Quercus coccifera, commonly known as Kermes Oak or Chaparro, is native to the Mediterranean region and the North Africa Maghreb. In its native habit it grows in extreme Mediterranean climates and can be found on windy sea cliffs.
The etymological root of the binomial name Quercus is the ancient Latin name for an oak tree but some authorities believe it to be derived from the Celtic quer meaning ‘fine’ and cuez meaning ‘a tree’. Coccifera is derived from the Latin coccum meaning ‘scarlet’.
The Landscape architect may find Quercus coccifera useful as an evergreen specimen shrub. Once established this tree is drought tollerant.
Ecologically, Quercus coccifera is is attractive to nesting birds for shelter and nesting sites. Its acorns are attractive to birds and mammals.
Quercus coccifera prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It tolerates poor soils.
Quercus coccifera requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out in late autumn to winter.