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Tree to 40 m, 0.5 m dbh. Bark grey, smooth above, becoming rough and flaky at the base with longitudinal furrows developing in time. Branchlets yellow-tomentose; in the second year, coffee-coloured with yellow lenticels. Leaves deciduous, 3.3–14.5 × 1–5 cm, elliptical to lanceolate, rigid and leathery, juvenile leaves covered in simple reddish hairs, mature leaves glossy dark green and glabrous, except for tufts of hairs in the vein axils, 5–13 secondary veins on each side of the midrib, margins entire or with one to three teeth or serrations at the apex, apex acute or attenuate; petiole 0.8–3.6 cm long with abundant yellow tomentum. Infructescence 0.2–1.2 cm long with one to three cupules. Cupule hemispheric, 1–1.7 × 0.7–1 cm; scales woody and glabrous or with short hairs. Acorn ovoid, with half of its length enclosed in the cupule, 1.5–2 cm long, stylopodium prominent. Flowering April, fruiting June to November (Mexico). Gonzalez & Labat 1987, Romero Rangel et al. 2002. Distribution MEXICO: Distrito Federal, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México, Michoacán, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Tlaxcala, Veracruz. Habitat Pine-oak forest between 1500 and 3200 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 8. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration Romero Rangel et al. 2002; NT698.
Quercus laurina appears to be exceedingly scarce in cultivation, the only specimen seen for the current work being one at Chevithorne Barton. This has done well and has reached 7 m (2008), making a nicely upright, almost fastigiate tree with stiffly ascending branches. Its only fault lies in its very dull dark green foliage. There are some good trees at Hackfalls in New Zealand, according to Allen Coombes (pers. comm. 2006).