Quercus faginea

13 Nov

Quercus faginea (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Quercus faginea (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Early spring

Eventual Height: 20m

Eventual Spread: 15m

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Fagaceae

Quercus faginea is a deciduous or semi evergreen tree with a spreading habit. Its glossy dark green leaves are elliptic with irregular dentate margins, up to 10cm long and 4cm across. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up to 80cm Its flowers are monoecious and wind pollinated. Its male flowers are yellow catkins. Its fruit are ovoid acorns which are held in a cup and up to 2.5cm long.

Quercus faginea, commonly known as Portuguese Oak or Valencian Oak, is native to the west Mediterranean region, including Spain and Portugal. In its native habit it grows in extreme Mediterranean climates in mixed forests.

The etymological root of the binomial name Quercus is the ancient Latin name for an oak tree but some authorities believe it to be derived from the Celtic quer meaning ‘fine’ and cuez meaning ‘a tree’. Faginea refers to the species resemblance to the Fagus genus.

Quercus faginea Leaf (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Quercus faginea Leaf (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The Landscape architect may find Quercus faginea useful as a semi evergreen specimen tree suitable for poor soils. Once established this tree is drought tollerant.

Ecologically, Quercus faginea acorns are attractive to birds and mammals.

Quercus faginea prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It tolerates poor soils.

Quercus faginea requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out in late autumn to winter.

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