Quercus robur L.

English oak, pedunculate oak
Fagaceae
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Quercus robur
Elena Torres & Santiago Moreno
Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Quercus robur: Line of three young specimens in autumn

Line of three young specimens in autumnBark rugous and deeply fissuredBranch with 8-cm long pinnately lobed hairless leaves with two auricles at the base and very short petiolesBranch with 4 hanging male catkinsBranch with 2 fruits (acorns) hanging from a long peduncle; fairly smooth cupuleBranch with 2 brown coccids of the genus <span class=cursiva>Parthenolecanium</span> that look like budsBranch with 3 galls caused by the wasp <span class=cursiva>Andricus kollari</span>
Etymology

Quercus: Ancient Latin name for the common oak, the holm oak and other acorn-bearing trees

robur: ancient Latin name for strong, hard wood, especially oak

Description

Habit: Deciduous, monoecious large tree sometimes over 40 m tall with a short, thick trunk, fissured gray or brown bark and a broad ovate or irregular crown.

Leaves: alternate, deciduous, 5-15 cm long x 3-8 cm wide, simple, with caducous stipules and a short petiole 2-7 mm long; blade obovate, glabrous, pinnately lobed, with 4-6 pairs of unequal, wide, ovate-oblong lobes with a rounded apex.

Flowers: unisexual; male flowers small, in yellowish hanging catkins, with a 5-7-lobed calyx and 5-10 stamens; female flowers subsessile, hanging in groups of 2(3)from the end of a long peduncle, each with a basal involucre or cupule formed by numerous scale-like bracts fused to each other; calyx very small; gynoecium syncarpous, 3-carpellate, with an inferior ovary and 3 styles.

Fruit: nut-like (acorn), oblong, brown, apiculate with smooth pericarp and a hard, fairly smooth cupule.

Phenology

It flowers in spring, at the same time as the leaves sprout; acorns mature at the end of summer and fall at the beginning of autumn.

Geographic origin

Native to most of Europe and W Asia. It is widespread in the N half of the Iberian Peninsula.

Observations

This tree is very long-lived and has great symbolic value in the Basque Country, since the sacred "Tree of Guernica" is an oak.

It is often cultivated as an ornamental and for its valuable timber, which is hard and resistant and used to make flooring, furniture and barrels for wine and other spirits. Its dried bark has astringent properties.

The young twigs of some of the individuals growing on this campus have coccids of the genus Parthenolecanium (see Picture Gallery). They also have galls caused by Andricus kollari Hartig, a wasp of the family Cynipidae (see Picture Gallery).

It is propagated from seeds.

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