A naturally occurring hybrid of Q. coccifera and Q. ilex. Small shrub 2–10 m, rarely to 15 m, crown spreading. Young shoots tomentose, becoming glabrous, erect or drooping but never divaricated as in Q. coccifera. Leaves evergreen, 1.5–2.5 x 1.4–2 cm; leathery; oblong-elliptic; dark green above, glaucous tomentose beneath; margin wavy with small mucronate teeth; 5–7 vein pairs; petiole hairy, 3.5 cm. Acorn borne singly on a short peduncle, half or more enclosed by cup; cupule with long, pointed, never appressed, slightly pubescent scales. (Hélardot 2020).
Distribution Algeria France Greece Italy Morocco Portugal Spain
Habitat Warm, dry, calcareous soils, where the parent species grow together.
USDA Hardiness Zone 7-8
Conservation status Not evaluated (NE)
Taxonomic note There are many variations on the spelling of the specific epithet.
As befits a hybrid, descriptions of this taxon vary. For Bean (1976) the leaves resemble those of Q. coccifera but are more or less felted beneath, and the acorns are more like Q. ilex, in a cupule with appressed scales (Hélardot (2020) states the scales are never appressed). Similarly, Bean reports that acorns are borne two or three together, while Hélardot claims they are solitary.
Perhaps the most interesting characteristic of this hybrid is its epithet, which seems to be equally polymorphic. The hybrid was described (as a species) by Grenier and Godron in 1855, who intended to name it after Joseph Auzende (1802–1876), chief gardener at the Jardin botanique de la Marine in Toulon, southwest France. Auzende had collected specimens of the hybrid near Toulon. Grenier and Grodon misspelled his name as Auzandre, and published the epithet auzandri. Burnat (1892) pointed out the error, but claimed that the correct spelling was Auzande, as published by Gaspard-Nicholas Robert (1838), again misspelled. Meanwhile, further nomenclatural Chinese whispers resulted in multiple versions of the epithet, namely: auzandrii, auzendrei, auzandi, and auzendi. According to ICBN Arts 60.1 and 60.11, the correct spelling for an epithet based on the surname Auzende is auzendei (The Oak Name Checklist 2020).
It is rare in cultivation, but a plant grows at Borde Hill, England. It originated from an acorn of the Q. coccifera at Osborne House but is presumably a hybrid with Q. ilex because of white felt under the rounded leaves. It measured 17 m × 43 cm dbh in 2015 and is listed as the UK and Ireland Champion for height (Tree Register 2020). There is apparently scant competition for the title.