This species is closely related to Quercus infectoria G.Olivier, and is sometimes treated as a synonym of that species.
Quercus faginea lusitanica (Lam.) Maire
Quercus humilis Lam.
Quercus valentina Cav.
Quercus fruticosa Brot.
Quercus ovalifolia Bosc ex Pers.
Quercus glauca Bosc ex Loisel.
Quercus australis Link
Quercus undulata K.Koch
Quercus prasina Bosc ex Endl.
Quercus aegilopifolia Boiss. ex Endl.
Quercus muricata Palau ex Willk. & Lange
Quercus quexigo Cook ex Willk. & Lange
Quercus aegylopifolia Boiss. ex A.DC.
Quercus brachycarpa Kotschy ex A.DC.
Quercus rigida K.Koch ex A.DC.
Quercus brachycarpa Guss. ex Parl.
Quercus baetica H.Buek
Quercus zang Dippel
Quercus faginea macrobalanus Sennen ex A.Camus
Quercus faginea valentina A.Bolòs & O.Bolòs
Quercus lusitanica is an evergreen shrub growing from 30 - 200cm tall. The plant spreads at the roots to produce suckers and can form a thicket of growth[
The plant is harvested from the wild for mainly local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. The oak galls are sometimes traded for medicinal use.
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[
S.W. Europe - Portugal, southwestern Spain; N. Africa - Morocco.
Sandy places in lowland and mountains.
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Quercus lusitanica is not a very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to around -8°c when dormant. It grows best in areas with hot summers, growing well in Mediterranean climates, but it also succeeds in moist, mild, Maritime regions[
Prefers a good deep fertile loam which can be on the stiff side[
]. Young plants tolerate reasonable levels of side shade[
]. Tolerates moderate exposure, surviving well but being somewhat stunted[
]. Plants are often very low growing, to about 30cm tall, and spread out to form a carpet[
The seed ripens in its first year[
Seedlings soon develop a taproot and become intolerant of root disturbance, they should be planted into their permanent positions whilst young[
Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Seed - cooked[
]. The seed is about 15mm long[
Although we have no specific information for this species, the seeds of all the species of oak are edible - indeed, several species have been used as staple foods, whilst most if not all have been used for food in times of shortage, when better foods were not available[
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.
Galls are excrescences that are sometimes produced in great numbers on the tree as a reaction to 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, which is astringent and has a range of medicinal virtues. The galls are consicered to be astringent, antidiabetic, antitremorine, locally anesthetic, antipyretic, and antiparkinsonian[
]. In Asian countries, these galls have been used for centuries in traditional medicine for treating a range of conditions including inflammatory diseases, haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery, as a wash on cuts and wounds, as a mouthwash to treat toothache or gum problems etc[
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[
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 of many Oak species is a favoured fuel - burning well and giving off a lot of heat[
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.
Division of suckers in the dormant season.