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Plant Focus

Quercus skinneri
Quercus skinneri is a Central American oak, distinguished by the large size of its fruit.

Nineteenth Century Wild-Sourced Quercus canariensis Willd. Confirmed at Anlaby

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Charlie Buttigieg and Francisco M. Vázquez Pardo

Published May 2017 in International Oaks No. 28: 49–58


The Mirbeck oak Quercus canariensis Willd., or as it is sometimes known, the Algerian oak, has a very complex and convoluted introduction story in Australia. Many taxonomists and tree authorities in Australia agree that many cultivated specimens of this taxon are hybrids. A specimen of Q. canariensis from a non-hybrid source is rare in Australia. It is therefore quite significant to have discovered and verified a small population of wild-sourced Q. canariensis growing at one of South Australia’s most influential and significant pastoral properties, Anlaby. What is more astounding is that some specimens, dating from the mid-nineteenth century, share similar leaf and flower morphology with the relic populations of Q. canariensis growing near the ancient port city of Cádiz in south-western Spain. These specimens are culturally and historically linked to Anlaby’s mid-nineteenth century importation of merino sheep from Spain and this in turn adds another dimension to the story of the introduction of the species into Australia.


Mirbeck oak, Canary Island oak, Algerian oak, oaks in Australia, relic oak populations in Spain


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Buttigieg, C. 2014b. The Anlaby Commemmorative Oaks: an Extraordinary Case of Multiple Ground-Layered Branches in Querus canariensis Willd. International Oaks 25: 93-102.

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