Description: Trees [rarerly shrubs], deciduous or evergreen, monoecious.
Leaves alternate, toothed, lobed or rarely entire; deciduous leaves often brightly coloured in autumn.
Flowers appearing before or with leaves in deciduous species, unisexual; male flowers in pendulous catkins; female flowers solitary or clustered in spikes. Ovary inferior, 3(-4–5)-chambered, enclosed in sheathing bracts that later form the acorn cup.Styles as many as ovary chambers.
Fruit a 1-seeded nut (acorn), maturing in 1–2 years partly enclosed by a cup of basal scales.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 600 spp in termperate Northern Hemisphere and high altitude tropics. Australia: many species cultivated in cooler regions but only 1 possibly naturalised.
Commonly cultivated species include Quercus bicolor (Swamp White Oak), Q.canariensis (Algerian Oak), Q. cerris (Turkey Oak), Q. coccinea ((Scarlet Oak), Q. faginea (Lusitanian Oak), Q. x hispanica (Lucombe Oak), Q. ilex (Holm Oak), Q. macrocarpa (Burr Oak), Q. palustris (Pin Oak), Q. robur (English Oak), Q. rubra (Red Oak), Q. suber (Cork Oak), Q. velutina (Black Oak).
Text by KL Wilson (Oct 2015)
Taxon concept: R Spencer (1997) Horticultural Fl SE Australia vol. 2
|One species in NSW: Quercus robur|