Shrub or small tree to 10 m tall. Bark dark grey. Young shoots with scaly glands, becoming glabrous. Leaves evergreen, ovate-lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, to 12 × 5 cm, with up to 12 veins on each side of the midrib, tapered to the base, long-acuminate at the apex. Margin entire or with few teeth towards the apex, often more conspicuously toothed on juvenile plants. Leaves bronze when young, becoming dark green above, rather glaucous beneath and glabrous on both sides when mature. Petiole up to 2 cm long, glabrous when mature. Infructescences to 4 cm long with up to 10 cupules. Cupules hemispherical, to 1 × 1.5 cm, with up to 7 rings of scales. Acorns ovoid, to 1.7 × 1.2 cm, about ½ enclosed in the cup and ripening the second year. (Menitsky 2005; Huang, Zhang & Bartholomew 1999; le Hardÿ de Beaulieu & Lamant 2010).
Distribution Myanmar North Cambodia China Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Sichuan, Yunnan Laos Thailand Vietnam
Habitat Subtropical mountain forests at 700–2700 m asl, often with other oaks and bamboos.
USDA Hardiness Zone 8
RHS Hardiness Rating H4
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
Quercus augustini has been introduced several times in recent years. Collections by Nick Macer as Quercus sp. NJM 09.121 and 09.181, collected at just over 2000 m on Fan Si Pan, N Vietnam in 2009, grow in several UK collections including Chevithorne Barton. One plant at Chevithorne was 3.7 m tall and growing vigorously in 2021 (J. MacEwen pers. comm.). A plant of unknown origin at Evenley Wood Garden, Northamptonshire, planted in 2005 (thus traceable to a different collection) died back but recovered and was 1.5 m in 2014 (The Tree Register 2021).
A plant at Arboretum de Keracoual, France is from a collection in Myanmar by Jean Merret in 2003 (Arboretum Wespelaar 2022). At Arboretum des Pouyouleix, France, it has reached 2.5 m × 3 cm. This plant suffered badly during very cold weather in February 2012 but has since recovered (B. Chassé, pers. comm. 2020).
Although often spelt augustinii (note the double ‘i’) this oak was described from a specimen collected by Augustine Henry in Yunnan, China and the spelling is based on the Latin version of his name (Augustinus). The local name is China can be translated as ‘narrow-leaf evergreen oak’.