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Tree to 17 m. Branchlets slender, grey and glabrous. Leaves evergreen, 7–12 × 1.5–3.5 cm, elliptic to oblong or lanceolate, leathery, the lower surface glaucous with prostrate hairs and prominent veins, 11–13 secondary veins on each side of the midrib, margins with short bristle-like teeth, apex acuminate to caudate; petiole 1.5–2 cm long and glabrous. Infructescence 2–2.5 cm long with six to seven cupules. Cupule cup-shaped, 1–1.5 × 1.2 cm, outside and inside grey-velvety; scales in six to eight rings. Acorn ellipsoid, with half of its length enclosed in the cupule, 1.7–2 cm long, stylopodium persistent, three-ringed. Flowering April to May, fruiting September to October of the following year (Taiwan). Liao 1996a, Huang et al. 1999. Distribution TAIWAN: central and northern provinces. Habitat Broadleaved evergreen forest between 1100 and 2600 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 9. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration Liao 1996a, Huang et al. 1999.
Quercus stenophylloides is a member of the Cyclobalanopsis group, and notable for the silvery white undersides to its leaves (Muir 1996). It is rare in cultivation, and its hardiness may be questionable. The oldest seems to be at Tregrehan, grown from TH 002, collected in Taroko Gorge, Taiwan in 1989, and now (2008) over 6 m tall. In addition it has been introduced by a team from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, in 1993, although a specimen from ETE 161 planted against the greenhouse wall at Inverleith has died (M. Gardner, pers. comm. 2006). It was also collected more recently by Allen Coombes, in 2003, and young plants from this source have been distributed to several gardens (A. Coombes, pers. comm. 2006). Among these, one at Thenford House was cut back by the 2005–2006 winter, although it resprouted in 2006. An internet search on Q. stenophylloides principally yielded the information that the acorns of this and other species are an important dietary item for Asiatic Black Bears in Taiwan (Hwang et al. 2002), which suggests that collectors should proceed to fruiting trees with some caution.