Chinese Cork Oak

Chinese Cork Oak

Chinese Cork Oak (Quercus variabilis) is a species of oak in the section Quercus sect. Cerris, native to a wide area of eastern Asia in China, Japan, and Korea.

It is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree growing to 25-30 m tall with a rather open crown, and thick corky bark with deep fissures and marked by sinuous ridges. The leaves are simple, acuminate, variable in size, 8-20 cm long and 2-8 cm broad, with a serrated margin with each vein ending in a distinctive fine hair-like tooth; they are green above and silvery below with dense short pubescence.

The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins produced in mid spring, maturing about 18 months after pollination; the fruit is a globose acorn, 1.5-2 cm diameter, two-thirds enclosed in the acorn cup, which is densely covered in soft 4-8 mm long 'mossy' bristles.

Cultivation and uses

It is cultivated in China to a small extent for cork production, though its yield is lower than that of the related Cork Oak. It is also occasionally grown as an ornamental tree.


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