Quercus castaneifolia

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Chestnut-leaved oak
Quercus castaneifolia2 kew.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Cerris
Species: Q. castaneifolia
Binomial name
Quercus castaneifolia
C.A.Mey.

Quercus castaneifolia, the chestnut-leaved oak, is a species of oak in the turkey oak section Quercus sect. Cerris. It is native to the Caucasus and Alborz mountains of Iran, and resembles the closely related Turkey Oak in appearance.

It is a deciduous tree growing up to 35 m tall, with a trunk up to 2.5 m diameter (exceptionally up to 50 m tall with a trunk up to 3.5 m diameter[1]). The leaves are 10–20 cm long and 3–5 cm wide, with 10-15 small, regular triangular lobes on each side. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins; the fruit is an acorn, maturing about 18 months after pollination, 2–3 cm long and 1.5–2 cm broad, bicoloured with an orange basal half grading to a green-brown tip; the acorn cup is 2 cm deep, densely covered in soft 4–8 mm long 'mossy' bristles. The acorns are very bitter, but are eaten by jays and pigeons; squirrels usually only eat them when other food sources have run out.

Cultivation[edit]

It was introduced to England in 1846, but remains relatively rare in collections despite being a vigorous grower. A tree from the original introduction is at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[2]

The cultivar Quercus castaneifolia 'Green Spire' has been selected for erect growth.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "European Trees". Eastern Native Tree Society. Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  2. ^ "Kew: Plants: Chestnut-leaved Oak, Quercus castaneifolia". www.kew.org. Retrieved 2010-03-06.