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Known to have grown in Ithilien
Probably Quercus ilex
i'lex (i here is pronounced long, like English 'eye')
Latin for the plant known in English as the 'holm-oak'
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 14 April 2012
  • This entry is complete


Trees found in Ithilien

During Frodo's travels through Ithilien, he encountered ilexes on at least two occasions. The name seems to refer to the tree otherwise known as the 'holm-oak',1 a type of evergreen oak tree that favours warm climates like that of Ithilien. In spring, the branches of the ilex are hung with strings of catkins, and the trees grow to considerable size. At one stage in their journey, Frodo and Sam rested for a time among the branches of an ilex or holm-oak tree.



It should be said that the name 'ilex' can apply to various types of plant besides the holm-oak, including common holly, but we have other reference to holm-oaks in Ithilien, so this seems to be Tolkien's intended meaning.

See also...

Holly, Holm-oaks

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