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A small evergreen tree 20 to 30 ft high, the young shoots clothed at first with a close, dense, grey down. Leaves leathery, narrowly ovate to oblong, mostly rounded at the base, slenderly pointed, ribs in nine to thirteen pairs, very prominent beneath, each one running out at the margin to a sharp tooth up to 1⁄12 in. long, 3 to 7 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide, dark shining green and glabrous above, paler and covered with a brown wool beneath; stalk 1⁄4 to 5⁄8 in. long, clothed with brown wool. Stipules awl-shaped, up to 1⁄2 in. long, silky-hairy. The fruits, which ripen the first year, are solitary or two or three together, acorns egg-shaped, about 1⁄2 in. long, the cup 3⁄8 in. wide, 1⁄4 in. deep, the scales grey-downy, appressed.
Native of Hupeh and Szechwan, China; introduced to the Coombe Wood Nursery by Wilson in 1900. He observes that this is always a small tree and is common in rocky places at from 3,000 to 6,000 ft altitude. The old leaves fall in spring as the new ones unfold. Wilson observes that the leaves are sometimes quite untoothed. As regards foliage this is undoubtedly one of the finest of hardy evergreen oaks and in the milder counties should make a very handsome tree. Named after Prof. A. Engler (1844-1930), for long Director of the Dahlem Botanic Garden, Berlin.
The only recorded specimens of Q. engleriana are: Werrington Park, Cornwall, 38 × 21⁄4 ft (1966), and Caerhays, Cornwall, 17 × 2 ft (1971).
The specimen at Caerhays, Cornwall, measures 35 × 21⁄4 ft (1984).