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Quercus_coccifera - L.

Common Name Kermes Oak
Family Fagaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry places on limestone and siliceous rocks[89].
Range Europe - Mediterranean.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Quercus_coccifera Kermes Oak


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Giancarlodessi
Quercus_coccifera Kermes Oak

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Quercus_coccifera is an evergreen Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 4 m (13ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 6. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to June. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Q. pseudococcifera.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Seed - cooked[2, 63, 105]. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed contains bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. The traditional method of preparing the seed was to bury it in boggy ground overwinter. The germinating seed was dug up in the spring when it would have lost most of its astringency. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc[4].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

A mulch of the leaves repels slugs, grubs etc, though fresh leaves should not be used as these can inhibit plant growth[20]. 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[4]. The bark is rich in tannin[148]. A black dye can be obtained from the bark[89] and also from the seeds[148].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a good deep fertile loam which can be on the stiff side[1, 11]. Lime tolerant[188]. Young plants tolerate reasonable levels of side shade[200]. Tolerates moderate exposure, surviving well but being somewhat stunted[200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it thrives in Britain[200]. 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[K]. The fruit ripens in its second year[11]. Intolerant of root disturbance, trees should be planted in their permanent positions whilst young[11]. Any transplanting should be done once growth has commenced in late May or in September[11]. Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus[200]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[88, 200].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Propagation

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[11]. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Ballut, Mese, Pilit, Sidian,

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Australia, Europe, Greece, Jordan, Mediterranean, North Africa, Spain, Turkey,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Quercus cocciferaKermes OakShrub4.0 5-9  MHSNM323

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

1189200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

moisey@acn.gr   Sun Oct 29 2006

What is the red swelling on the leaf of Quercus Coccifera. It appears not to be caused by kermes vermilio.

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