Quercus suber – Cork Oak (southern Europe, northern Africa)
Habit: Gnarled, small tree with short stem, up to 20 m tall and wide, expansive, roundish crown.
Flowers: Male catkins, pistillate flowers alone, inconspicuous, spring and autumn.
Fruit: Acorns, ovoid, fruit cups grey tomentose, usually bitter.
Leaves: Evergreen, small, ovoid-elongated, leathery, coarse, stiff, almost entirely serrated, bright dark green, greyish underneath, tomentose, up to 5 cm long.
Stem: Fissured, with thick layer of cork, first cork harvest after 25 years, freshly harvested stem light brown, later dark red-brown, cork harvest possible every 8-9 years.
Demands: Full sun, sheltered, sensitive to frost, cold house, resistant to drought.
Natural habitat: Deep, nutritious, acidic, well drained soil, no stagnant water.
Hardiness: Zone 9