Quercus nubium (Q. sessilifolia Blume) • Evergreen Oak

Quercus Oak コナラ / カシ 子楢 / 樫 konara / kashi

Until  looking closely at the Plant List I thought that the area we call Forest – the dark space under the dense canopy of leaves behind Azumaya (Area S) is mostly comprised of evergreen oaks of which many, I was told, were there before the Garden came to existence in 1962.

Considering the size of the trees, the part about them being there before the Garden was constructed, sitting in the marsh which was the lowest  part of Arboretum,  is probably true.  The part I didn’t know is that there are different kind of evergreen oaks there:  one Quercus nubium (evergreen oak, marked with a green tag), two Quercus sp (evergreen oak; the genus Quercus contains about 600 species – in the case of our two trees probably unknown names), two Quercus myrsinifolia (Bamboo-leaf oak), and, THE MOST VISIBLE of them all, on the edge of the orchard (technically in Area R) another huge Quercus myrsinifolia (Bamboo-leaf oak).

None of their leaves look like what most people imagine  thinking western/European ‘oak’:  with lobate margins and acorns underneath in fall to make stick-people with; the evergreen oak leaves actually look like rhododendron leaves:  longish-single leaves (see pics below).

This post is about Quercus nubium (Evergreen Oak), native to China. See separate post on Quercus myrsinifolia (Bamboo-leaf oak). The first thing that came up in internet search is that Quercus nubium is a synonym of Quercus sessilifolia Blume (currently preferred name).


SJG • 6/2/14 – Quercus nubium • Evergreen Oak, Area S


SJG • 6/2/14 – Quercus nubium • Evergreen Oak


SJG • 6/2/14 – Quercus nubium • Evergreen Oak – LEAVES

From the Plant List (collaboration between the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden enabled the creation of The Plant List by combining multiple checklist datasets held by these institutions and other collaborators): [..] Quercus nubium Hand.-Mazz. is a synonym of Quercus sessilifolia Blume. This name is a synonym of Quercus sessilifolia Blume. The record derives from WCSP which reports it as a synonym (record 174122) with original publication details: Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. 59: 137 1922. […]

From Virtual Herbaria: […]  Syntypus for Quercus nubium Hand.-Mazz. Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien, math.-naturwiss. Kl. 59 (17): 137-138 (1922)
Current Name: Cyclobalanopsis sessilifolia (Blume) Schottky
Typified by H. Rainer (WU) 2005
Taxon Quercus nubium Hand.-Mazz.
Family Fagaceae
Collector Handel-Mazzetti,H.R.E. von Handel-Mazzetti, Iter sinense (1914-1918) 11168
Date 1918-06-07
Location China / Hunan […]

From Oaks of the world (compilation of the numerous books, monographs, journals, wesites, all referring to oaks): Quercus sessilifolia […]
Local names: yun shan qing gang; […]
Leaves 6-15 x 1.5-4 cm; oblong-elliptic to lanceolate-elliptic; leathery; apex shortly acuminate; base obtuse or cuneate; margin entire or with 3-4 serrations towards apex; hairless on both sides; nearly concolorous; midrib impressed adaxially; 10-14 vein pairs inconspicuous; petiole hairless, not sulcate, 5-10 mm long;

Here is the leaf difference between our evergreen oak and bamboo-leaf oak (collected the leaves from under the trees):


SJG • 6/2/14 – Comparison between Quercus nubium and myrsifolia LEAVES: nubium are larger and smooth oedged leaves, while myrsifilia leaves are smaller and edges are serrated.


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One Response to Quercus nubium (Q. sessilifolia Blume) • Evergreen Oak

  1. maikawa1@comcast.net says:

    Hi Aleks, コナラ/カシ (konara/kashi) is the Japanese name for the genus Quercus. Ours is the Genus list in Japanese, and there are so many species within the genus. Just like Rhododendron has so many species, and we do not give Japanese names for different species. Let me know if you have further questions. Hiroko

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