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Quercus (Oak)


This genus is composed of large or small deciduous or evergreen trees and some small shrubs, and forms the Quercineae group of the order Cupuliferae. The Common Oak is a well known example of the genus. With few exceptions the species are better fitted for large parks and woodlands than for small gardens. For large gardens, however, some may be admitted, and they make noble specimens.

For the southern counties the Evergreen Oak is one of the best evergreens we possess, while in many places the evergreen Japanese species make fine bushes. The leaves of some of the deciduous species are very large and handsome, the margins of others being very prettily lobed. A few forms have variegated leaves, but the majority of these are not to be commended for general cultivation.

The Oaks, generally, like a deep, rich soil, though they will grow in that of an inferior quality.

Of the numerous species a few only are given:

Quercus acuta - This is an evergreen shrub from Japan.

Quercus Cerris, the Turkey Oak, is a native of south and east Europe and Asia Minor. There are many varieties, of which cana major, cana minor, crispa, laciniata, and variegata are most distinct.

Quercus coccifera, Kermes Oak, is a stiff growing evergreen, with small, spiny leaves. A native of the Mediterranean region.

Quercus coccinea, the Scarlet Oak of North America, is a large tree with deeply lobed leaves which turn to a brilliant scarlet in autumn. Waterer's variety is brilliantly coloured.

Quercus conferta is a handsome leaved, deciduous species from Italy and Hungary.

Quercus rilauca is an evergreen shrub from Japan.

Quercus heterophylla is a deciduous species introduced from the United States in 1820. It grows 30 to 40 feet high, and has long, narrow leaves, which colour finely in autumn.

Quercus Ilex, the Holm or Evergreen Oak, is a native of the Mediterranean region, and has been in cultivation for several centuries. It makes a large headed tree, 30 or 40 feet, or sometimes more, high. The leaves are deep green and leathery, and vary considerably in size, some being little more than 12 inches long, others being 4 to 5 inches, the two extremes sometimes occurring on the same tree. There are numerous varieties, of which crispa, diversifolia, Fordii, latifolia, and rotundifolia are most distinct.

Quercus Lucombeana is an interesting hybrid between Quercus Cerris and Quercus Suber, and is known as the Lucombe Oak. It was raised by Mr. Lucombe, an Exeter nurseryman, about 1762. The leaves are sub-evergreen, being carried through the winter, and shed about March.

Quercus Marilandica, a large-leaved species from the United States; is commonly called Black Jack.

Quercus Mirbeckii is a large-leaved species from Spain, Portugal, and North Africa. The leaves are very prettily lobed.

Quercus palustris is the Pin Oak of the United States. The foliage is very much like that of Quercus coccinea.

Quercus peduniculata is the Common Oak. There are a great many varieties, of which concordia, fastigiata, heterophylla, pendula, Thomasii, and variegata are very distinct.

Quercus phillyraeoides is an evergreen bush from Japan.

Quercus rubra, the Red Oak of North America, forms an ornamental tree.

Quercus sessiliflora is the Sessile Flowered Oak of Europe and west Asia.

Quercus velutina is the Yellow Bark Oak of North America. The variety rubrifolia has very large leaves.