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Editor's Picks

Michael Eason hiking in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to observe Washingtonia filifera in situ
Currently at San Antonio Botanic Garden, Michael's work has...
Amy Byrne | Feb 15, 2023
An exhibition that beautifully depicts and locates oaks
Roderick Cameron | Feb 09, 2023
Burke Oak Collection at New York Botanical Garden
The Coleman and Susan Burke Oak Collection at The New York...
Todd Forrest | Feb 08, 2023

Plant Focus

Quercus xjackiana acorns
The hybrid of Q. alba and Q. bicolor

Iberian Holm Oak Jumps the Gun in Portugal

The weather here in the southern part of Portugal (Baixo Alentejo) has been quite dry for the last couple of years. Our seasonal river did not run for two years and our dam dried out completely.

Last year’s rainy season, which started in September, has been much wetter. As a result our seasonal river is flowing and the dam filled up.

A number of plants appear to have had reactions to these wetter conditions. Some of our Iberian Holm Oak (Quercus rotundifolia) trees were in full flower at the beginning of December 2020. Yet most of the Iberian Holm Oaks were still dropping acorns. The usual flowering period is from early February (as per chart below from the Portuguese Botanical Society’s website).

Q. rotundifolia flowering period

It will be interesting to see if the flowers set and produce acorns next year.

Q. rotundifolia in flower 1
Quercus rotundifolia in flower, Baixo Alentejo, Portugal, December 2020 © Phil Perry

Q. rotundifolia in flower 2

Q. rotundifolia in flower 3

Q. rotundifolia in flower 4