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Published In: Annales des Sciences Naturelles; Botanique, sér. 2, 4: 348. 1835. (Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 2,) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/26/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project data     (Last Modified On 2/8/2012)

2. Quercus ithaburensis Decne., Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot. ser. 2, 4: 348 (1835); Kotschy, Eichen t. 12 (1862); Zohary, Bull. Res. Counc. Israel D, 9: 168 (1961). Quercus aegilops L. var. ithaburensis (Decne.) Boiss., Fl. Orient. 4: 1172 (1879). Type: [Israel] Monte Thabor, Bové 495 (P) and [Lebanon] Labillardiere (FI, W). [Plate 31]

Common name:

Mt. Tabor Oak; אלון התבור


Forests and forest remnants on various soils (Rendzina, Terra Rossa, basalt, sandy-loam soils) 50-500 (-1000) m. above sea level. Coastal Galilee, Acco Plain, Sharon Plain, Upper and Lower Galilee, Esdraelon Plain, Mt. Carmel, Samaria, Shefela, Hula Plain, Upper Jordan Valley, Golan, Gilead, Ammon. Not found in the Judean Mts.

Area distribution:

E. Mediterranean (Palestine-Turkey).


            A leading plant of various tabor oak forest communities in Palestine. Such stands prevailed in the Sharon plain till the 20th century but most were cut down for various usages.

     The varieties described here are differentiated mainly by their fruits, particularly by the shape of the cupule and its scales. Fruits maintain their homogeneity on each individual tree in contrast to the leaves that, to a certain extent, vary from branch to branch according to position, age, etc. From our observation it seems that fruit characters are fairly constant at least in the first generation. No correlation has been found between cupule and leaf traits. Some of the varieties may occur together within the same population, but often one variety - the most widespread var. ithaburensis - dominates in individual populations.

Wood remains of this species were found at over 20 sites in Israel (excluding the Negev). Remains of eaten acorns were found along the Rift Valley, from Lower Palaeolithic Gesher Benot Ya’aqov (), via Epipalaeolithic Ohalo II (near Lake Kinneret, Upper Jordan Valley), to some Roman caves facing the Dead Sea [Liphschiz 2007; Simchoni & Kislev 2009]. 

     Cupules and galls have a high content of tannins. The timber has been used for charcoal and small carpentry. An ornamental and afforestation tree.

    The biblical names אלון and  אילון evidently refer to this and the following oak species.


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Deciduous tree, 5-6(-15) m.; trunk up to 0.5-1 m. in diam., generally 4-6 m. tall; bark grey. Branches divaricate-ascending, forming a globular or broadly ovoid crown; young twigs grey-tomentose with stellate hairs. Buds crowded, ovoid with appressed scales, hairy mainly at margin. Leaves usually 5-8(-10) x 3-6 cm., late in falling (rarely in warm winters partly persistent), herbaceous and slightly rigid in texture, ovate to lanceolate, rarely oblong, cordate or rounded at base, obtuse or acute at apex, varying in size and shape on the same tree, glabrescent and somewhat shining above, pale and stellate-pubescent beneath, rarely pubescent also above, with 6-9(-11) lateral nerves ending in triangular, often aristate or long-mucronate teeth ; teeth unequal in size and shape; petiole 1-2 cm., tomentose. Staminate catkins 5-6 cm., with pubescent axis; flowers short-pedicelled; perianth of 4-6 lanceolate lobes, hairy at margin; stamens with hairy, almost ellipsoidal anthers. Pistillate catkins whitish, densely hairy, with 1-3 flowers on short pedicels; styles 3-4, linear, recurved. Acorns solitary or in pairs, borne on a very short and thick peduncle or sessile, maturing in the second year; cupule (0.7-)1.3-2 cm. in diam., usually top-shaped, semiglobular or cyathiform, usually one third as long as the 2-5 cm. long gland, rarely half as long as gland or more; scales thick, rather woody, ovate to linear, recurved, spreading, deflexed or erect, often upper scales long, recurved, the lower short, erect; gland acute, obtuse or barrel-shaped. Fl. February-April. Fr. October-November.



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