Quercus lusitanica

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gall oak
1897 illustration from Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Subgenus: Quercus subg. Quercus
Section: Quercus sect. Quercus
Q. lusitanica
Binomial name
Quercus lusitanica
  • Quercus fruticosa Brot.
  • Quercus humilis Lam., illegitimate homonym
  • Quercus valentina Cav.
  • Quercus ovalifolia Bosc ex Pers.
  • Quercus glauca Bosc ex Loisel.
  • Quercus australis Link
  • Quercus undulata K.Koch
  • Quercus prasina Bosc ex Endl.
  • Quercus aegilopifolia Boiss. ex Endl.
  • Quercus muricata Palau ex Willk. & Lange
  • Quercus quexigo Cook ex Willk. & Lange
  • Quercus aegylopifolia Boiss. ex A.DC.
  • Quercus brachycarpa Kotschy ex A.DC.
  • Quercus brachycarpa Guss. ex Parl.
  • Quercus rigida K.Koch ex A.DC.
  • Quercus baetica H.Buek
  • Quercus zang Dippel

Quercus lusitanica, commonly known as gall oak, Lusitanian oak, or dyer's oak, is a species of oak native to Portugal, Spain (Galicia and western Andalucia) and Morocco.[3] Quercus lusitanica is the source of commercial nutgalls. These galls are produced by the infection from the insect Cynips gallae tinctoriae. They are used for dyeing.

Several other species are known colloquially as "gall oaks;" indeed, galls can be found on a large percentage of oak species.[4] The specific epithet "lusitanica" refers to the ancient Roman Province of Lusitania, corresponding roughly to present-day Portugal and Extremadura in Spain.[5]


Quercus Lusitanica

Quercus lusitanica is an evergreen creeping bush, rarely exceeding 2 metres (6+12 feet) in height and is often no taller than 30 centimetres (12 inches).[6][7] The plant mainly spreads through various suckers.[8]


It was incorrectly named Q. humilis, later Q. fruticosa and its current name was incorrectly used to identify other Gall oaks from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. This resulted in numerous taxonomy errors in the Gall oaks taxa from the occidental and oriental Mediterranean Basin.[1]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Quercus lusitanica is native to the Iberian Peninsula (in Portugal and western Andalusia, Spain, also rare on Galicia) and Morocco[6] It is commonly associated in oak and pine forests and does well in acidic soils.[1] It favors mild coastal Mediterranean climates but it also succeeds in moist, mild, maritime climates.[8][7] It is relatively sensitive to cold temperatures[1] and is hardy down to −8 °C (18 °F).[8] It inhabits sandy or gravelly soils up to 600 m (2,000 ft) in elevation.[6][9]


No serious threats were found in Portugal, though in Andalusia this plant has been listed as Near Threatened due to fires, silviculture and grazing ungulates.[1] The main threat to the conservation of genetic diversity of this species is the hybridization with the oak neighbors (Holm Oak, Cork Oak, Kermes Oak, Pyrenean Oak).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jerome, D.; Vazquez, F. (2018). "Quercus lusitanica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T79914375A103229340. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T79914375A103229340.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Quercus lusitanica Lam.". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – via The Plant List. Note that this website has been superseded by World Flora Online
  3. ^ "Quercus lusitanica". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  4. ^ Cranshaw, Whitney (2004). Garden Insects of North America. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09560-4.
  5. ^ Garcia, José Manuel (1989). História de Portugal: Uma Visão Global. Lisboa: Editorial Presença. pp. 32, 33, 38. ISBN 9722309897.
  6. ^ a b c "Quercus lusitanica" (PDF). Flora Iberica. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Quercus lusitanica Lam". Flora-on. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  8. ^ a b c "Quercus lusitanica". Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  9. ^ Harvey-Brown, Y. (2017). "Quercus lusitanica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T79914375A79914412. Retrieved 20 January 2021.