Tree to 15 m tall, young shoots densely yellow-brown tomentose, becoming glabrous with conspicuous lenticels. Leaves evergreen, leathery, ovate to elliptic, to 13 × 5 cm, rounded at the base, taper-pointed at the apex, with up to 20 or sometimes more veins on the each side of the midrib, prominent beneath. Margin conspicuously toothed in the apical ⅔, entire towards the base. They are densely covered in yellow-brown hairs when young becoming glossy dark green and glabrous above when mature, thinly brown-tomentose beneath. Petiole tomentose when young, to 2 cm long. Infructescences very short, to about 5 mm, with several cupules. Cupules bowl-shaped, to 0.8 × 1.5 cm, with six to eight rings of pubescent, toothed scales. Acorns broadly ovoid, to 1.5 × 1.2 cm, ⅓ to ½ enclosed in the cup and ripening the first year. (Menitsky 2005; Huang et al. 1999; le Hardÿ de Beaulieu & Lamant 2006).
Distribution Bangladesh China W. Yunnan India Arunachal Pradesh, Assam
Habitat Oak-pine forests in the mountains at 1500–3300 m.
USDA Hardiness Zone 9
RHS Hardiness Rating H3
Conservation status Endangered (EN)
Taxonomic note The name often appears in databases as Q. lobbii Ettingsh., but the original authors of the name were Joseph Hooker and Thomas Thomson; the first valid publication was in a work by Ettingshausen (Cameron 2021).
This appears to be the identity of plants introduced by Jacky Pousse from northern Myanmar in 2009 (JP 231). It has been variously referred to as Q. hildebrandii, Q. brandisiana, and Q. lineata. A plant seen at Iturraran Botanical Garden, Spain in 2019 had leaves to 16 × 5.5 cm with about 20 pairs of veins and the margin edged with numerous teeth except at the base. Plants from the same collection grow in Tregrehan, Cornwall, UK, and at Arboretum Chocha, France.
When Q. hildebrandii was published, as Q. lineata var. hildebrandii (Hooker 1888), it was described as having glabrous shoots and the leaves as glaucous and glabrous beneath. Menitsky (2005) stated that the leaves had 10–12 pairs of veins and that it was only known from the type specimen, collected on Mt. Arakan (central west Myanmar). According to Menitsky, Q. brandisiana has a relatively broader, much more leathery leaf without the taper-pointed apex. Soepadmo (1972) stated that Q. lineata only occurs in Malesia. Camus (1931) also regarded Q. lobbii to be distinct from Q. lineata.
The epithet honors Thomas Lobb, a British plant collector who visited India between 1848 and 1853 and collected the type specimen in the Khasi Hills, Assam (Cameron 2021). He was the younger brother of the much better-known Wiliam Lobb. The local name in China can be translated as ‘West Yunnan evergreen oak.’