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Tree to 30 m, 3 m dbh. Bark dark reddish brown or almost black, fissured into oblong scales. Branchlets dark brown or black with dense grey silky tomentum. Leaves sub-evergreen, 3–12 × 1.5–5.5 cm, ovate to elliptic or lanceolate, grey-green or glaucous, leathery and glabrous, 8–12 secondary veins on each side of the midrib, margins entire or with four to nine teeth, apex acute to obtuse; petiole 0.3–1 cm long and glabrous. Infructescence 1.5–3 cm long with two to three cupules. Cupule cup-shaped, 2–2.4 × 0.5–0.8 cm; scales appressed and pubescent. Acorn ovoid, with one-third to half of its length enclosed in the cupule, 2–2.5 cm long, stylopodium persistent. Flowering April to May, fruiting August to October of the following year (Pakistan). Nasir 1976, Menitsky 2005. Distribution AFGHANISTAN; INDIA; NEPAL; PAKISTAN. Habitat Himalayan oak forest between 1600 and 2900 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 8. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration Menitsky 2005.
With the exception of one old tree at High Beeches, Sussex that may be of this species, Quercus floribunda is represented in the United Kingdom by young specimens, all grown from EPAK 172, collected in Pakistan in 1995 and quite widely distributed to British gardens from Kew (as Q. glauca): there are plants at the Hillier Gardens (4 m in August 2006, 5.3 m in October 2008) and at Wakehurst Place. At Shaun Haddock’s Arboretum de la Bergerette, where the hot summers and fertile soil result in generally ‘staggering growth’, Q. floribunda (from S. Haddock’s own collection) reached 4 m in nine years (Lamant 2004), and is now over 5 m tall (S. Haddock, pers. comm. 2006). Haddock’s collection was made in 1995 from Kalam in the Swat Valley, Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan, at around 2100 m, where winter snows are deep; he also made subsequent gatherings at about 2200 m at Murree, northeast of Islamabad. In France at least, Q. floribunda seems to be a ‘good doer’ and drought-resistant (S. Haddock, pers. comm. 2006).