The Kermes oak (Quercus coccifera) belongs to the family Fagaceae (the Beech family). It is a small evergreen tree that is native to the Mediterranean region and North Africa. This tree grows in dry, sunny slopes, and it can reach 2-6 m in height. The leaves are spiny-serrated, coriaceous, 1.5-4 cm long. It blooms from March to May in weather still wet. The fruits are acorns and mesure 2-3 cm long when mature about 18 months after pollination. They are held in a cup covered in dense, elongated, reflexed scales. The Kermes oak was historically important as the food plant of the Kermes scale insect, from which a red dye called crimson was obtained.