Quercus ilex subsp. rotundifolia

Synonym: Quercus rotundifolia Lam.

Quercus ilex shows two main morphological types. The “ilex” type is an elongated and large leaf morph distributed from Greece to the French Riviera, and along the Atlantic coast of France. This morph is restricted to humid or subhumid sites mainly in mild coastal areas. The “rotundifolia” morph is characterized by small and rounded thick leaves and occurs in inland parts of North Africa and Spain, where it grows under Mediterranean climates ranging from semiarid (with markedly continental conditions) to per-humid. In addition, trees showing morphological characters intermediate between the two morphs occur in the French regions of Languedoc and Roussillon, and in the eastern and northern coastal areas of Spain. Evidence from allozyme polymorphism suggests the occurrence of a single species with two distinct subspecies. These differ mainly by adaptive characters related to the distinct climate conditions which occur in the distinct geographical areas of the Mediterranean Basin (Lumaret et al. 2002).