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Quercus dentata Thunb.

Daimio Oak

Modern name

Quercus dentata Thunb.


Q. daimio K. Koch

A deciduous round-headed tree 60 or more ft high, described as being of ungainly, unpicturesque habit when old; young shoots stout, densely covered with greyish soft hairs. Leaves amongst the largest of all hardy oaks, occasionally over 1 ft long and 6 or 7 in. wide, the smallest one-third those dimensions, obovate, tapered at the base, blunt or rounded at the apex, the margin with five to nine rounded lobes or deep undulations at each side. When quite young the upper surface is covered with minute down, the undersurface with a whitish felt; but, as the season advances, the down falls away from the upper surface, the lower one remaining sparsely downy. Acorns 12 to 34 in. long, rounded; the cup covered with long, narrow, downy scales.

Native of Japan and of the mainland of N.E. Asia; introduced to Europe in 1830. It is a remarkable oak on account of its enormous leaves, but has never been really a success in this country, and is usually short-lived. Its habit is thin and gaunt. The undersurface of its leaves sometimes presents an extraordinary appearance because of an infestation of disk-like galls, so thickly placed as to overlap each other.

At the present time there are two examples of this oak in the collection at Kew, neither of much beauty: one, pl. 1893, is 30 × 212 ft, the other, pl. 1907, 17 × 114 ft (1965). It has thrived better at Osterley Park on the other side of the Thames where there is a fine tree measuring 37 × 414 ft (1965) and another of about the same size. Others recorded recently are: Westonbirt, a crowded tree in Willesley Drive, 50 × 334 ft (1967); The Grange, Benenden, Kent, 36 × 214 ft (1972); Trewidden, Cornwall, 40 × 434 ft (1959); Caerhays, Cornwall, 47 × 414 ft (1971); Edinburgh Botanic Garden, pl. 1931, 38 × 3 ft (1970).

cv. ‘Pinnatifida’. – A Japanese garden variety with the leaves deeply dissected into narrow, crisped lobes; described in 1879. It is in cultivation in Britain.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Kew, pl. 1893, 31 × 3 ft (1986); Osterley Park, London, 40 × 514 ft (1982); Westonbirt, Glos., Willesley Drive, a crowded tree, 52 × 414 ft (1981); Benenden Grange, Kent, 33 × 212 ft (1981); Eastnor Castle, Heref., 62 × 434 ft (1984); Trewidden, Cornwall, 44 × 5 ft (1979); Caerhays, Cornwall, 59 × 5 ft (1984); Edinburgh Botanic Garden, pl. 1931, 38 × 3 ft (1970).



Other species in the genus