Quercus obtusifolia D. Don
Tree up to c. 20 m, sometimes shrubby. Young shoots tomentose. Leaves oblong to elliptic-oblong, 3.5-12 x l.6-7.5 cm, obtuse, rarely acute, green and glabrescent above, rusty tomentose on the under surface, leathery, nerves forked, margin entire to spinose. Male inflorescence 4-8 cm long, dense flowered, tomentose; bracts broadly ovate, 2-2.2 mm long, ciliate; perianth segments obtuse; stamens 5-8, filaments c. 2 mm long, anthers oblong, glabrous. Cupule 1.2-1.4 cm broad, pubescent, scales obtuse or acute. Nut subglobose, 2.2-2.5 cm long, glabrescent, dark brown when mature.
Fl. Per.: May-June.
Type: ‘Banks of torrents in upper Nepal’, F. Buchanan.
Distribution: Afghanistan, Himalayas from Swat and Kashmir to Bhutan and China.
The ‘Brown Oak’ is usually found at the upper tree limit where it is sometimes gregarious. I have not observed trees of large size (as mentioned by Parker). A form of this tree found in E. Himalayas, with glabrous under-surface and acute leaves (see Parker, l.c. 495) approaches Quercus dilatata Royle, which is known to hybridize with the ‘brown oak’ (fide in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 77:18.1971). The specimens from Parachinar, cited above, might belong here. There is a specimen of Quercus semecarpifolia Sm. x Quercus baloot Griff., collected at Sarswag, Kurram by Y. M. Khan and determined by Menitsky at the Edinburgh herbarium (E). The wood is lopped for firewood and charcoal and the leaves are used as fodder.