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ILEX Foundation
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Ilex as a Mission Symbol



Quercus ilex, Family: Fagaceae



The Foundation's emphasis on the study of cultural variation is reflectedin the name Ilex as a symbol. In classical Latin, ilex means "holm oak,"that is, a kind of oak that happens to be evergreen - unlike other oaks in the Mediterranean climate - and that happens to look like holly (or "holm" in older English); in scientific or "Linnaean" Latin, ilex means "holly." The plant to which ilex refers is thus a variable, but the concept of the holm oak or the holly as an evergreen is a constant. That is the symbol of Ilex.