Oaks of the World

General dataClassificationsList of speciesLocal namesBack to
home page

  Quercus robur
Author L. 1753

cuneifolia Vuk. 1833
fastigiata Lam.1785
filicifolia A.DC 1864
foemina Mill. 1768
fructipendula Schrank 1789
germanica Lasch 1857
haas Kotschy 1858
hispanica Willk. 1852
laciniata Lodd. 1836
lanuginosa Beck 1890 nom. illeg.
longaeva Salisb.
1792 nom. illeg.
oxylepis Vuk. 1883
pedunculata Ehrhart 1789
pedunculata Hoffm. 1791
pyramidalis Gmelin 1808
racemosa Lam. 1785
robustissima Simonk. 1890
stenocarpa Vuk. 1879
suecica Borbas 1890
tardifolia Stev. 1857

Local names English oak; roble; carballo; carvallo;
Range Europe except regions bordering on the Mediterranean Sea; continental Spain; NE Russia; SW Asia; North Africa; 0-1000 m;
Growth habit 30 m tall and more; trunk to 3 m in diameter; crown broadly domed;
Leaves 5-12(-17) x 3-8(-11) cm; base auricled, asymmetrical; 2-5 pairs of rounded lobes, with sinuses obtuse and variable in depth; the blade is wider near apical 1/3; almost glabrous on both sides (possible uniseriate and solitary trichomes adaxially; the same ones abaxially, mostly on the midrib and at axils, and a lack of wax on the stigmas); dark dull green above; pale glaucous beneath; 5-7 vein pairs; petiole half-round in cross-section, hairless, yellowish, 0.4-0.7 cm long;
Flowers spring; male catkins yellow green, 2-6 cm long, with axis hairless; male perianth with 5-8 hairless stamens; pistillate inflorescences 3-10 cm long, hairless; female perianth with 4-6 short lobes;
Fruits acorn 1.5-4 cm, ovoid; dark brown; paired or several together on a long, thin, 4-10 cm long peduncle; enclosed 1/4 to 1/2 by cup; cup half-round, with triangular, appressed, slightly tomentose scales; maturing in 1 year;

Bark, twigs and

bark grey, deeply furrowed into rectangular or hexagonal plates; twigs green brown turning grey green, smooth, glabrescent, with rounded, pale lenticels; buds ovoid conic, pale brown, clustered at end of twig, 5 mm long, with numerous, obtuse, ciliate scales;
Hardiness zone, habitat hardy; all types of soils; long lived (to 800 years, and more);

-- A. Camus : n°163 ;
-- Sub-genus Quercus, Section Quercus, Series Roburoid;

-- "lanuginosa" is a term frequently used by Authors, so it is better not to use it, in order to avoid confusions !
- Q. lanuginosa Franchet 1899 nom. illeg. = Q. franchetii
- Q. lanuginosa (Lam.)Thuill.1799 nom. illeg. = Q. pubescens
- Q. lanuginosa Beck 1890 nom. illeg. = Q. robur (sic !)
- Q. lanuginosa sensu Lam. 1778 nom. illeg. = Q. cerris L. 1753
- Q. lanuginosa D.Don 1825 nom. illeg. = Q. lanata

-- The natural hybrids of Q. robur are : Q. x andegavensis, Q. x cantabrica, Q. x carrissoana, Q. x coutinhoi, Q. x gallaecica, Q. x haynaldiana, Q. x kerneri, Q. x rosacea, Q. x turneri

Subspecies and

---A/ There are 5 subspecies:
1_ subsp. brutia (Ten.)O.Schwarz 1936 = see Q.brutia

2_ subsp. imeretina (Stev. ex Woronow) Menitsky 1968 = see Q.imeretina

3_ subsp. pedunculiflora (K.Koch) Menitsky 1967 = see Q.pedunculiflora

4_ subsp. broteroana
Schwarz 1936
Actually, it could be a hybrid between Q. robur and Q. petraea.
young twig often with simple hairs, becoming glabrous; bud 3-4 mm, most often without stipules, with scales hairless or ciliate near apex; leaves rather leathery, with 3-7 obtuse lobes, shiny dark green above, paler below, both sides hairless; apex obtuse; base rounded, often auricled; 5-6 vein pairs, without sinusal ones; short petiole; large male and female catkins; acorn 2-4 cm long; large cup (18-23 mm in diameter), with broad scales (3-5 mm wide), not connate, and with narrow, subacute apex; grows in the North and the Center of the Iberian Peninsula.

5_ subsp. estremadurensis (O.Schwarz) A.Camus 1938
= Q. estremadurensis O.Schwarz 1935 Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 12: 463
For Spanish and Portuguese Authors, considering its range, its habitat, its ecological behaviour, its morphological features such as hairiness and shape of the leaves, as well considering the shape and the development of the embryo, it is a true species. This species occurs in the Center-West of the Iberian Peninsula, especially in Portugal, in deep valleys with constant humidity and temperature, on silicate soils. (see pictures below).
Tree to 20 m, with slightly sulcate tortuous twigs, covered with numerous round lenticels; subpersistent leaves 7-14 x 4-7 cm, flat, irregular, somewhat rhomboidal, rather coriaceous; shiny, glabrous above; dull and almost glaucous beneath, glabrous to glabrescent (sometimes with stellate trichomes and/or simple ones essentially on the midrib); base auricled; margin sinuate-lobate, with equal, short, pointed lobes; sinus not very deep nor narrow; 6-8 straight veins pairs, not or slightly raised, diverging at less than 45° from midrib; no sinusal veins; tertiary veins slender; summer leaves are more irregular and narrow, with fewer secondary veins, and with some sinusal veins; petiole very short (1-5 mm long), pinkish; peduncle more or less glabrous, slender, long; frequent aborted acorns; cup with numerous, appressed, pubescent scales; acorn oval-oblong, with pubescent stylopodium;

--- B/ Numerous varieties of the species type have been described, among them :

1_ var. tardissima Simonk
unfolds lately; crown ovoid narrow.

2_ var. fastigiata Loud.
= Q.fastigiata Lam. 1785.
= Q.pyramidalis Gmelin 1808
grafted from a tree discovered in Germany

3_ var. haas A.DC
= Q.haas Kotschy 1862
= Q. pedunculata var. haas Boiss. 1879
= Q. brutia subsp haas O.Schwarz 1934
same leaves as Q.robur; differs from it in having young twigs, peduncles and undersides of leaves pubescent; resembles
; rare; SE Europe; Asia Minor; see Q.pedunculiflora.

4_ var. salicifolia
= Q. robur 'Salicifolia'
petiole rather large (some autors consider it is a variety of Q. petraea...); the leaves of young plants are often slightly lobed, but those of mature trees are always entire; acorns give true variety (so, some authors think it may be a subspecies...?)