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An evergreen tree up to 50 ft high, forming a neat, oval, or rounded crown of branches as seen in the wild; leaves and shoots glabrous except for a thin down when quite young. Leaves quite untoothed, narrowly oblong, tapered at both ends, more slenderly to the point, 4 to almost 10 in. long, 11⁄2 to 2 in. wide, leathery, pale green, shining; stalk up to 1 in. long. Acorns closely packed on a stout spike 4 to 8 in. long at or near the end of the shoot; they are globose, flattened at the top, 3⁄4 in. wide. Acorn-cup shallow, thin, 1⁄8 in. deep.
Native of W. Hupeh and E. Szechwan, China; introduced to the Coombe Wood nursery by Wilson in 1901. This oak is hardy at Kew but is very slow in growth. Like L. cleistocarpus, which it much resembles, it will succeed much better in the warmer counties, and make a handsome evergreen tree with probably larger leaves than those described above. It is quite distinct from that species in the longer spikes of acorns and especially in the shallow thin cup; but in foliage it is not so easy to distinguish the two. L. henryi has leaves greener beneath, with more pairs of veins on the average, and longer stalks.
There are two examples of this species at Caerhays, Cornwall. One is 30 × 3 ft; the other, dying, is of the same size (1966).
So far as is known, the only large specimen of this fine species is the tree at Caerhays Castle, from which all the younger plants in cultivation have been propagated by Messrs Hillier. The Caerhays tree measures 52 × 31⁄4 ft (1975). There are small plants at Wakehurst Place, Sussex, and in the Hillier Arboretum, Hampshire.