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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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

References

Anonymous Editor. 1842. The Garden Magazine Register. Vol. 8: 47-48.

Buttigieg, C. 2014a.  The Hybrid Oak That Time Forgot: Quercus ×coutinhoi Samp. Discovered in Australia. International Oaks 25: 35-42.

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

Buchanan, A. (1922 ). A Diary of a Journey Overland from Sydney to Adelaide with Sheep. July-December, 1839. Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (South Australian Branch, Incorporated), Vol. XXII by the Mail Newspapers, Ltd., Gilbert Place, Adelaide.

Cunningham, P.M. 1841. Hints for Australian Emigrants; with Engravings and Explanatory Descriptions of Water-Saving Wheels, and Modes of Irrigating Land in Egypt, Syria, South America, & c. London: T & W Boone.

Hawker, F. and R. Linn. 1992. Bungaree, Land, Stock and People. South Australia, Everard Park: Turnbull Fox Phillips Adelaide.

Schwarz, O. 1936-38. Monographie der Eichen Europas und des Mittelmeergebietes. Selbstverl. D. Verf.

Trow-Smith, R. 2005. A History of British Livestock Husbandry 1700 to 1900. Routledge.