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Kermes Oak Oak Quercus coccifera (Fagaceae) HEIGHT to 5m. Small evergreen oak, often just a dense, much-branched shrub. BARK Greyish and smooth at first, finely patterned in older trees. BRANCHES Young twigs are yellowish with branched hairs, but become hairless with maturity. LEAVES Tough and holly-like, dark green above and a little paler below, to 4cm long with pronounced spines; petiole is short or almost absent. REPRODUCTIVE PARTS Small acorns, to 1.5cm long, sit in a shallow cup protected by strong spiny scales. Take two years to mature so trees always have some acorns on them. STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION Widespread around Mediterranean. Grown here for its intriguing foliage; not hardy and so rare.