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A small semi-evergreen tree of slender, pyramidal habit when young; branchlets dull and grey, furnished at first with stellate scurf. Leaves ovate-oblong, slightly heart-shaped at the base, taper-pointed, with nine to twelve parallel veins either side the midrib, each terminating at the apex of a comparatively large, incurved, triangular mucronate tooth, 11⁄4 to 23⁄4 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. wide, shining with a rather metallic lustre above, duller beneath; both surfaces quite glabrous by the time the leaf is fully grown; stalk 1⁄8 in. or less long. Fruits usually solitary, scarcely stalked, 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. long; acorn truncate; middle scales of cup recurved, the upper ones upright or incurved.
Native of S.E. Italy (Apulia), the western Balkans, and also found in one restricted area in W. Anatolia; introduced to Kew in 1890. A very distinct oak, rather stiff in habit and retaining its leaves until December or later. It is very hardy, and I have never seen it injured by frost. As described, this oak resembles Q, libani, but it is really a much stiffer tree, the leaves are shorter and greyer green, and both they and the fruits are much shorter stalked.
There are several examples of this species at Kew, the largest, pl. 1904, measuring 62 × 53⁄4 ft (1972). Others are: Edinburgh Botanic Garden, pl. 1905, 38 × 41⁄4 ft (1967); Batsford Park, Glos., 66 × 18 ft (1971); Hergest Croft, Heref., pl. 1911, 45 × 33⁄4 ft (1961); Wakehurst Place, Sussex, 45 × 4 ft (1965).
specimens: Kew, pl. 1904, 63 × 53⁄4 ft (1986); Batsford Park, Glos., 80 × 83⁄4 ft (1983) (girth misprinted as 18 ft on page 516); Tortworth, Glos., 80 × 71⁄2 ft (1975); Edinburgh Botanic Garden, 59 × 53⁄4 ft (1985).