Ilex aculeata Garsault
Quercus aquifolia Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus arcuata Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus brachybalanos Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus calliprinos Webb
Quercus chainolepis Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus consobrina Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus cretica Raulin ex A.DC.
Quercus dipsacina Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus dispar Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus echinata Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus fenzlii Kotschy
Quercus inops Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus mesto Boiss.
Quercus palaestina Kotschy
Quercus pseudococcifera Desf.
Quercus pseudorigida Kotschy ex A.Camus
Quercus recurvans Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus rigida Willd.
Quercus rivasmartinezii (Capelo & J.C.Costa) Capelo & J.C.Costa
Quercus sibthorpii Kotschy ex Boiss.
Quercus valida Kotschy ex A.DC.
Scolodrys rigida (Willd.) Raf.
Common Name: Kermes Oak
Quercus coccifera is an evergreen shrub or a small tree with a dense crown and prickly leaves; it usually grows up to 4 metres tall, occasionally reaching 8 - 10 metres. The bole can be up to 35cm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is often grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its holly-like leaves.
All parts of the plant contain tannins. Whilst tannins are found in many foods, and have a range of medicinal uses. They are usually only present in low concentrations. In some foods made from oaks (particularly the seeds), the tannin content can be quite high unless the food is treated to reduce tannin content.
Tannins are only of low toxicity and, because of their bitter taste and astringency, are unlikely to be eaten in large quantities. However, if they are taken in excess, they can cause stomach pains; constipation followed by bloody diarrhoea: excessive thirst; and excessive urination[
Mediterranean - region - found almost everywhere in the region, but absent from Egypt.
Dry places on limestone and siliceous rocks[
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Quercus coccifera is a moderately cold-hardy tree, tolerating temperatures down to around -20°c when dormant. It grows best in areas with hot summers, growing more slowly in cooler regions of the temperate zone, where it will often fail to produce seed.
Prefers a good deep fertile loam which can be on the stiff side[
]. Lime tolerant[
]. Young plants tolerate reasonable levels of side shade[
]. Tolerates moderate exposure, surviving well but being somewhat stunted[
A very ornamental plant[
], it thrives in Britain[
A shrub growing in dappled woodland shade at Cambridge Botanical Gardens produced a few ripe seeds after the hot summer of 1989, though the vast majority of seeds were aborted[
]. The fruit ripens in its second year[
Intolerant of root disturbance, trees should be planted in their permanent positions whilst young[
]. Any transplanting should be done once growth has commenced in late May or in September[
Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus[
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[
Seed - cooked[
]. The seed can be 12 - 30mm long[
The seed is usually cooked before eating, though it can also be eaten raw. It can be eaten whole, though it is more commonly dried, then ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread.
In some species, especially many of those classified as 'white oaks', the seeds are low in tannins and have a more or less sweet and agreeable flavour. The seed of most species, however, have a very bitter flavour, due especially to the presence of tannins. In these species there are various processes that can remove or at least reduce the amount of these bitter substances (although other water-soluble substances, including some minerals, will also be removed).
Tannins are water-soluble and therefore the easiest way to remove or reduce tannin levels is by soaking in water. A few different methods are listed:-
A traditional method of preparing the seed was to bury it in boggy ground overwinter and allow the wet soil to gradually leach the tannins. The germinating seed was dug up in the spring when it would have lost most of its astringency and bitterness.
Another method was to wrap the seeds in a cloth bag and place them in a stream for several weeks.
Drying the seed and grinding it to a powder before soaking speeds up the process. The fastest method is to use hot water, by cooking the powder and changing the water several times until the cooking water is no longer bitter. Alternatively, you can use cold water (which is reported to produce the best quality flour). In this case, you soak the powdered seed in cold water for 12 - 24 hours then discard the water. Repeat this process for a number of times until the soak water is no longer bitter.
The roasted seed of many Quercus species has been used as a coffee substitute.
Quercus (oak) species are used in the traditional medicine of many cultures, being valued especially for their tannins. Various parts of the plant can be used, most frequently it is the leaves, bark, seeds, seed cups or the galls that are produced as a result of insect damage. A decoction or infusion is astringent, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, styptic and haemostatic. It is taken internally to treat conditions such as acute diarrhea, dysentery and haemorrhages. Externally, it is used as a mouthwash to treat toothache or gum problems and is applied topically as a wash on cuts, burns, various skin problems, haemorrhoids and oral, genital and anal mucosa inflammation[
]. Extracts of the plant can be added to ointments and used for the healing of cuts[
This is one of several Quercus species which are either cultivated or semi-cultivated in southern France and Italy in order to provide an environment in which to grow truffles[
The leaves of most species in this genus are more or less rich in tannins. A mulch of the partially decayed leaves can be placed around vulnerable plants in order to repel slugs, snails, grubs etc, and these will in time break down to add humus and nutrients to the soil. Fresh leaves should be used with caution, however, since as these decay they utilize some of the nitrogen in the soil and thus can inhibit plant growth[
Oak galls are excrescences that are sometimes produced in great numbers on the tree and are caused by the activity of the larvae of different insects. The insects live inside these galls, obtaining their nutrient therein. When the insect pupates and leaves, the gall can be used as a rich source of tannin, that can also be used as a dyestuff and is also used by many cultures to make ink[
The bark of oak trees is also usually rich in tannins and can be used as a dyestuff and for waterproofing rope[
The bark is rich in tannin[
A black dye can be obtained from the bark[
] and also from the seeds[
As a source of wood and lumber the genus Quercus is one of the most important of all groups of trees. We have no specific information for this species, but in general he timber is noted for its strength, durability, and beauty, and is used everywhere for innumerable purposes, ranging from fuel to railroad ties, construction of buildings and ships, interior trim, flooring, and all grades of furniture. The woods of different species vary as to their physical qualities; some of them are very hard and tough, others are lighter in weight, softer, and less tough[
The wood is a favoured fuel - burning well and giving off a lot of heat. It is also used to make a good quality charcoal[
Seed - it quickly loses viability if it is allowed to dry out. It can be stored moist and cool overwinter but is best sown as soon as it is ripe in an outdoor seed bed, though it must be protected from mice, squirrels etc. Small quantities of seed can be sown in deep pots in a cold frame. Plants produce a deep taproot and need to be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible, in fact seed sown in situ will produce the best trees[
]. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.