Species list


Quercus faginea

Portuguese oak

Portuguese oak (Eng), quejigo, roble carrasqueño, rebollo (Spa), reboll, roure de fulla petita (Cat), erkametza (Baq), caxigo (Glg), carvalho-cerquinho, carvalho-portugues (Por).


DID YOU KNOW...? The acorns of this species, together with those of the cork oak, are fed to the black Iberian pigs that are reared for producing the famous Spanish ham, jamón Ibérico.


This tree can be 20-25 m tall. Its leaves are simple, alternate and deciduous, but some of the dry leaves stay on the plant until the following year when the buds of the new leaves make them fall off; a characteristic known as marcescence. The yellow-ochre flowers bloom in spring, grouped onto hanging twigs, and the fruits are acorns that are usually bitter. Flora Iberica differentiates two general types:

Quercus faginea Lam. subsp. broteroi (Cout.) A. Camus. The leaves are 5-15 cm long and 2.5-9 cm wide. They are crenate (undulated) or slightly toothed and velvety on the underside.

Quercus faginea Lam. subsp. faginea. Can form low stands as it sprouts well from the stump. The leaves are 3-6 cm long, 1.5-4 cm wide, are toothed-serrated and not very hairy on the underside.


The subspecies broteroi forms copses or mixes with other species from the genera. It prefers acidic substrates and grows from sea level up to 900 m. In addition, it needs a humid and mild climate. The subspecies faginea forms pure forests or mixes with holm oaks and maples. It prefers lime-rich substrates and commonly occurs between altitudes of 500 and 1500 m. This variety withstands frosts better, as well as a certain degree of drought, falling somewhere between the holm oak and the Pyrenean oak.


The Portuguese oak is a species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and northern Africa. The subspecies broteroi occurs in the southwestern part of the peninsula and northwestern Africa, whereas the subspecies faginea is mainly found in the east, becoming rarer towards the west.