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A large evergreen shrub of rounded, bushy habit, or a small tree 20 to 30 ft high; young shoots clothed with starry scurf. Leaves leathery, obovate or oval, heart-shaped or rounded at the base, tapering at the apex to a blunt or rounded tip, shallowly and usually bluntly toothed at the upper half, 11⁄4 to 21⁄2 in. long, 3⁄4 t to 11⁄4 in. wide, bright dark green above and glabrous except on the midrib; paler and also glossy beneath; stalk 1⁄4 in. or less long, clothed with stellate scurfy down, which extends along the lower part of the midrib. Acorns 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, formed but rarely developed in this country.
Native of China and Japan; introduced in 1861 by Richard Oldham when collecting for Kew. The largest specimen at Kew is about 26 ft high and through – a handsome cheerful bush, well clothed to the ground with shining foliage. It is remarkable that this oak is not better known in gardens. From the rest of the evergreen oaks it can be distinguished by the bright green, nearly glabrous surfaces of its leaves, combined with an absence of spine-tipped teeth.
The specimen at Kew mentioned above measures 26 × 21⁄4 ft (1971) and is from the original introduction by Oldham. Another, in the Oak collection, was planted in 1908 and was probably raised from seeds collected by Wilson in China; it measures 23 × 21⁄4 ft (1972). There are smaller plants at Wakehurst Place and Westonbirt. On the Oldham tree at Kew, and on two of the Wakehurst specimens, the young foliage is bronze-tinted.
specimens: Kew, original introduction by Oldham, by Ferneries, 26 × 21⁄4 ft (1971) and in Oak Collection (from Yokohama Nurseries and not from Wilson’s seeds as stated), 23 × 21⁄4 ft (1972).