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Plant Focus

Quercus macdougallii
A rare oak endemic to the Sierra Juárez in Oaxaca

The Mirbeck Oak in Iberia: Source of an Inspiration

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Antonio Lambe

Published May 2014 in International Oaks No. 25: 71–84


Although the Mirbeck oak, Quercus canariensis Willd., is, or perhaps was, native to Portugal, widespread deforestation has decimated its numbers in the country. It is easier to see in some places in Spain but on both sides of the border this beautiful tree is barely known and rarely used for landscaping. As is typical within this genus, its taxonomy is complicated. The purpose of its marcescence and the mysteries of masting are also open to debate. There is disagreement amongst experts concerning some conservation strategies. But the tree’s need for protection especially in the face of climate change is not in doubt and an ambitious measure to ensure its future in Portugal is described. Comments and criticism are welcome.


Quercus canariensis Willd., Q. ×marianica C. Vicioso, Q. ×fagineomirbeckii Villar, carvalho-de-Monchique, quejigo andaluz, conservation, climate change


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