American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various trees or shrubs of the genus Ilex; holly.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of trees and shrubs, of the natural order Ilicineæ, or holly tribe. It is characterized by having the flowers more or less diœciously polygamous; the calyx small, and with 4 to 6 teeth; the corolla rotate, and divided into 4, rarely 5 or 6, parts; 4 to 6 stamens; and an ovary with 4 to 6, rarely 7 or 8, cells forming a berry-like drupe. The plants of this genus have alternate, often thick, evergreen leaves, and white flowers, usually axillary. It comprehends about 145 species, many of which are natives of Central America, others occurring throughout the tropical and temperate regions of the globe, being represented least frequently in Africa and Australia. Among the most remarkable of them are: I. Aquifolium, the common holly (see
holly); I. Balearica, the broad-leafed holly of Minorca, a very handsome species; and I. Paraguayensis, whose leaves are consumed in large quantities in South America, under the name of Paraguay tea or maté. (See Paraguay tea, under tea.) I. verticillata is the Virginia winterberry or black alder. I. Cassine is the yaupon. I. lævigata is the smooth winterberry of the eastern United States; I. Dahoon, the dahoon holly of Virginia and southward. I. sideroxyloides of the West Indies is a large tree called Dominica oak. The genus is widely known in a fossil state, some 50 or 60 extinct species having been described, chiefly from the Miocene of Europe, but ranging from the Middle Cretaceous to the Quaternary. Several occur in the Green River Group (Eocene) of the Rocky Mountain region.
- n. [lowercase] A tree or shrub of this genus.
- n. The holm-oak or holly-oak, Quercus Ilex, the leaves of which somewhat resemble those of the genus Ilex. See cut (fig. 4) under oak, 1.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The holm oak (Quercus Ilex).
- n. A genus of evergreen trees and shrubs, including the common holly.
- n. a large genus of dicotyledonous trees and shrubs of the family Aquifoliaceae that have small flowers and berries (including hollies)
- Middle English, holm oak, from Latin īlex. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“These include species of Fagaceae, in particular Quercus ilex, which is found only in the Northern Waziristan, Koh-i-Safed, and Chitral foothills, as well as east oleander (Nerium), tropical adhatoda, and Fraxinus xanthoxyloides.”
“It is the only tree that the ancient world could have cared to notice; and if it were possible to carve statues of trees, I am sure that the ilex is the tree sculptors would choose.”
“The crying need of all nature was for shade; for the ilex is a small-leaved tree giving a thin shadow with no cool depths amid the branches.”
“It is the dried leaves of a species of Patagonian ilex, which is used in this country as tea, and very delightful and soothing it is.”
“Sindiyán" (from the Persian) gen. used for the holm-oak, the Quercus pseudococcifera, vulgarly termed ilex, or native oak, and forming an extensive scrub in Syria, For this and other varieties of Quercus, as the Mallúl and the Ballút, see”
“Saxo, even to the hiding of a dog, whose name is given, in an "ilex," that it would be remarkable if there was no connection between Saxo's story and _Meriadoc_.”
“But especially striking is the statement that Ivor's dog is concealed in a tree; and this tree is called "ilex" (holly-oak), the very word used by Saxo to designate the kind of hollow tree that Hroar and Helgi (he calls them”
“In the Great Hall, Remco van Vliet inspected heaps of ilex berry, brown-backed magnolia and hydrangea flown in from Holland.”
“Other seasonal berries include ilex winterberry, privet and, yes, holly.”
“The “chêne vert” I planted in my front garden (holm oak) is called “Quercus ilex”.”
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