Oaks of the World

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  Quercus pubescens
Author Willd. 1796 (nom. cons. prop.) Berlin. Baumz. 279
Synonyms aegilops Mill. 1768
aspera Bosc 1807
asperata Pers. 1807
brachyphylla Kotschy 1859
brevifolia Kotschy ex A.DC 1864
brevipedunculata var. pubescens (Willd.) Cariot & St.-Lag. 1897
croatica Vukot. 1880
Q.humilis Miller 1768 nom. rejic. prop.
humilis subsp lanuginosa (Lam.) Franco & G.Lopez 1987
lanuginosa (Lam.) Thuill. 1799 nom. illeg.
pinnatifida C.C Gmelin 1826
pubescens subsp undulata (Kit) O.Schwarz 1934
robur var. lanuginosa Lam. 1785
robur var. pubescens (Willd.) Bonnier 1929
sessileiflora var. pubescens (Willd.) Loud. 1838
tommasinii Kotschy ex Vis. 1871
undulata Kit. 1863 not Benth. 1841
Local names
Range South, Center and West Europe; West Asia; the Caucasus, 400-1500 m;
Growth habit 15-20 m, trunk to 1 m in diameter, short, twisted; crown open, rounded;
Leaves 4-10 (-16) cm x 3.5-5 cm; oblong-oboval; apex rounded or slightly crenate; base cordate or truncate, narrow; margin undulate, with 4-8 pairs of rounded lobes and deep sinuses; pale green, slightly hairy above (uniseriate, solitary and fasciculate trichomes); grey green, pubescent beneath (fascicled hairs, some uniseriate ones, stigmas strongly convered with wax); young leaves pubescent on both faces; 5-8 pairs of secondary veins, prominent beneath; tertiary veins evident;  petiole hairy 0.7-1.2 cm long;
Flowers April-May; male catkins abundant, tomentose, 5-10 cm long; male flowers with pale yellow, glabrous anthers; female flowers with 3-4(5) styles and narrow stigmas;
Fruits acorn 1-3 cm; sessile or on a short, tomentose peduncle; enclosed 1/3 by cup; basal scar slightly convex, stylopodium pubescent; cup with appressed, grey pubescent scales; maturing in 1 year;

Bark, twigs and

bark dark grey, furrowed into rough, square plates; young twigs greyish covered with short hairs, becoming brown, shiny; buds ovoid, pointed, pubescent, grey brown at tip, 3 mm long;
Hardiness zone, habitat hardy; prefers warm places, calcareous soils; fast-growing;

-- A. Camus : n 162 ;
-- Sub-genus Quercus, Section Quercus, Series Roburoid.

-- The term "undulata" inspired numerous Authors ! One can list the following :
Q.undulata Engelm 1878 (= Q.sinuata Walt.),
Kit.1863 (= Q.pubescens Willd.),
Benth. 1841 (= Q.benthamii A.DC),
Q.undulata K.Koch 1847 (= Q.lusitanica Lam.),
Torr 1827 (= Q.x undulata complex Little 1979),
Sarg., and A.DC ( describing more or less Q.x pauciloba ...),
Q.undulata S. Wats. (= Q.gambelii Nutt.) ;
So it is better to give up with it!

The same for the term "humilis":
Q.humilis Lam. = Q.lusitanica Lam.
Q.humilis DC = Q.pyrenaica Willd.
Q.humilis Walt. = Q.pumila Walt.
Q.humilis Mill. = Q.pubescens Willd.

And also the same for the term "lanuginosa":
Q.lanuginosa Lam. = Q.cerris L.
Q.lanuginosa (Lam.) Thuill. = Q.pubescens Willd.
Q.lanuginosa Franch. = Q.franchetii Skan
Q.lanuginosa Beck = Q.robur L.
Q.lanuginosa D.Don = Q.lanata Sm in Rees

-- The natural hybrids of Q. pubescens are : Q. x albescens, Q. x allorgeana, Q. x baenitzii, Q. x firmurensis, Q. x kerneri, Q. x paui, Q. x streimii, Q. x subglaucescens

Subspecies and

A/_ For Govaerts & Frodin, there are 3 subspecies:
--- 1/ subsp pubescens
the type described;

--- 2/ subsp crispata (Steven) Greuter & Burdet 1982 Willdenowia 12: 44
= Q.crispata Steven 1857
= Q. lanuginosa subsp crispata (Steven) A.Camus 1935
= Q.anatolica O.Schwarz 1934
= Q. pubescens subsp anatolica Schwarz 1935
small shrub; leaves 3-6 cm long, with 4-6 vein pairs and a few tertiary veins, petiole tomentose; East of the Balkans; Turkey; Lebanon;

--- 3/ subsp subpyrenaica (Villar) Rivas Mart. & C.Saenz 2002 Itinera Geobot. 15: 706
= Q.subpyrenaica Villar 1938
= Q. humilis subsp subpyrenaica (Villar) Rivas Mart. & al. 1991
shrub or small tree; twig pinkish brown, shortly, densely tomentose until Autumn; bud 3-4 cm long, with pinkish, glabrescent, ciliate scales; leaves 3.5-7 x 2.5-4.5 cm long, leathery; at first with uniseriate, solitary, fasciculate and multistellate trichomes, becoming hairless and shiny above; tomentose beneath at first (with the same types of trichomes) then glaucous and scaly; base oblique; various but pointed lobes; 5-8 vein pairs without sinusal ones; petiole slightly tomentose, 0.6-1 cm long; acorn stalk tomentose, 4-10 mm long; cup enclosing all the nut or nearly so, with narrow, acuminate, pubescent scales; acorn with depressed apex; stigmas short and styles more or less connate; N.E. Spain; the Pyrenees;
-- For C.Vicioso, this taxon is not close to Q.pubescens, but to Q.faginea; in fact it could be a fixed hybrid between these 2 species;

B/_ For the recent Spanish Authors (F.M.Vazquez & al.) Q. pubescens occurs in Northern Spain (and also a small population in Central Spain) as a complex group featuring three taxa (Q. cerrioides, Q. lanuginosa and Q. subpyrenaica); these are not easy to classify, and one can regard them as species, subspecies, or variants of Q. pubescens Willd. It is difficult to distinguish between them because they frequently form hybrids, and differentiation is possible only in pure populations.
-- Q. cerrioides has small, short-pubescent leaves with obtuse lobes.
-- Q. lanuginosa (= Q. humilis subsp. lanuginosa) has medium-sized, long-pubescent leaves with obtuse lobes.
-- Q. subpyrenaica (= Q. pubescens subsp subpyrenaica) has large to medium-sized leaves with acute lobes.

C/_Among all the accepted synonyms of the subspecies pubescens, some may have a different rank (variety, subspecies, forma, race ?), according to their characteristics;

1/ Q.brachyphylla Kotschy 1859 Eich. Eur. Orient. 9 1859
= Q.brevifolia Kotschy ex A.DC 1864
= Q. lanuginosa subsp brachyphylla A.Camus 1936
small tree or shrub; leaves leathery, variable in size, with 5-7 pairs of lobes, base cordate, tomentose beneath, petiole 1-2.5 cm long; twigs tomentose; acorn with a 1-4 cm long stalk; cup 2 cm with weakly imbricated scales;
actually very close to Q.pubescens subsp pubescens; Greece, Aegean Islands;
For Govaerts & Frodin, it is a synonym.

2/ Q.dalechampii : see the file

3/ Q.virgiliana : see the file

4/ Q.congesta : see the file

5/ Q.sicula Borzi in Lojac. 1907 Fl. Sicul. 2(2): 374 (A. Camus : n° 169);
= Q.borzii A Camus 1936
= Q. robur var. sicula Fiori 1930
small tree; leaves 4-10 cm long, elliptic, with 5-8 pairs of short, toothed lobes, glabrous and shiny above, with stellate hairs beneath, petiole 2 cm long; no tertiary veins; acorn 3-3.5 cm long, 2.2-2.8 cm wide; cup 2 cm in diameter, campanulate, with numerous, triangular, obtuse, pubescent scales; bark blackish, furrowed; young twigs and buds hairy; mature twig glabrous, warty; Sicily; for Govaerts & Frodin, it is a true species.

6/ Some Authors decribe an other subspecies : subsp palensis
= Q.lanuginosa subsp palensis (Palassou) A.Camus 1939
= Q.pubescens subsp palensis (Palassou) O.Schwarz 1936
= Q.palensis Palassou 1784, nom. rejic.
For Govaerts & Frodin, it is a synonym of Q.pyrenaica; for C.Vicioso, 1950, it is a hybrid between Q. cerrioides and Q. pubescens;
twig with dark greyish tomentum; leaves 4-9 x 2.5-5 cm, rather stiff; dull green and pubescent above becoming almost glabrous, densely tomentose beneath (tomentum made of long, mixed simple and fascicled hairs), flat; margin wavy; apically wider; base truncate or asymmetrical; lobes often lobulate, variable depending on whether Q. cerrioides or Q. pubescens predominates; 5-9 parallel secondary vein pairs, with some sinusal veins; tertiary veins present, hidden in the tomentum; petiole tomentose 5-10 mm long; fruit stalkless or on a very short, tomentose peduncle; cup with pubescent, convex scales; in fact, characters intermediate between the putative parents;


drawing of Q. subpyrenaica