Log in

Editor's Picks

Quercus sontraensis
Quercus sontraensis grows in the Son Tra Peninsula
Roderick Cameron | Oct 19, 2022
Lobed leaf on Quercus rugosa
We know that some oaks, particularly Quercus robur, can...
Allen Coombes | Oct 18, 2022
Shaun Haddock receives an award for Eike Jablonski
Service awards recognize contributions to genus Quercus and...
Shaun Haddock | Oct 14, 2022

Plant Focus

Quercus tonduzii with acorn
An oak found only on a volcano in Costa Rica

Quercus ×schochiana: In Search of the Correct Place of the First Publication

American by heritage, European by name

Quercus ×schochiana is an oak hybrid of two North American species that was found and named in Europe, more specifically in Germany. There has been confusion regarding the publication details for this name, which will be clarified below.

Many references cite the original publication using the incorrect abbreviation “Cat. Arbor. Zoesch.”, for which there is no associated publication; the page number is usually given as 26.1 Quercus ×schochiana was in fact first published by Georg Dieck on page 28 of Neuheiten-Offerte des National-Arboretums zu Zöschen bei Merseburg (Neuheiten-Off. Natl.-Arbor. Zöschen) in 1892.

Quercus xschochiana leaf scan
Quercus ×schochiana leaves from a tree at Den Tip Arboretum, Lommel, Limburg, Belgium 
© Jan De Langhe - Arboretum Wespelaar / Ghent University Botanical Garden
  1. Background

In Mitteilungen Deutschen Dendrologischen Gesellschaft (Reports of the German Dendrological Society), v. 5 (1896) Schoch2 wrote an article titled “Der Garten zu Wörlitz und seine Geholze” (The Garden of Wörlitz and its Trees). On page 9 one can read:

Quercus Phellos L. Ein sehr starker, schön entwickelter Baum (1,20 m Durchmesser, 18 m Höhe) war bis ins letzte Jahrzehnt vorhanden, ist aber allmählich abgestorben. Er brachte nie reife Früchte. Er blühte regelmäßig und setzte Früchte an, die aber im zweiten Jahre, ohne zu voller Entwickelung zu kommen, wieder abfielen. Ums Jahr 1884 fielen bei einer Aussaat von Quercus palustris Dur. eine ganze Anzahl, jedenfalls in Folge von Befruchtung entstandener Zwischenformen, welche alle Übergänge vom schmalen ganzrandigen Weidenblatt der Quercus Phellos L. bis zu dem tiefgeteilten der Quercus palustris Dur.3 zeigten. Einige charakteristische Pflanzen dieser Formen wurden 1887 von mir Herrn Dr. Dieck in Zöschen überlassen, der sie vermehrte und als Quercus Schochiana in seinem Verzeichnis aufführte.

Quercus Phellos L. A very strong, beautifully developed tree (1.20 m in diameter, 18 m in height) was present until the last decade but has gradually died. It never bore ripe acorns. It flowered regularly and started to form fruit, but they fell off in the second year without fully developing. Around 1884, acorns from Quercus palustris Dur. were sown and resulted in a large number of intermediate forms, as a consequence of cross-pollination. The forms showed all variations from the narrow, entire willow leaf of Quercus phellos L. to the deeply divided one of Quercus palustris Dur. In 1887 I sent some characteristic plants of these forms to Dr. Dieck in Zöschen, who multiplied them and listed them as Quercus Schochiana in his survey.

  1. The publication

    Cover of Neuheiten-Offerte National Arbiretum Zoschen
    Front cover of the 1892/93 issue of the brochure
    "Novelties on Offer at the National Arboretum in Zöschen near Merseburg"

     

The survey by Dieck4 that Schoch refers to was published in the 1892/93 Neuheiten-Offerte des National-Arboretums zu Zöschen bei Merseburg. On page 28 we find:

Quercus Schochiana Dieck i.l. (Qu. Phellos × palustris). Dieser interessante Bastard wurde von Herrn Hofgärtner Schoch aus Samen amerikanischer Scharlacheichen in mehreren Exemplaren erzogen, deren Blühten augenscheinlich von dem jetzt abgestorbenen, riesengroßen Exemplare der Qu. Phellos, welches jeder Besucher des Wörlitzer Parkes kannte, bestäubt Worden waren, denn diese Sämlinge halten in der Blattform die Mitte zwischen Qu. Phellos und palustris oder coccinea. Der Habitus ist halbhängend. Ich benenne den interessanten Bastard nach seinem Züchter, dessen Güte ich die Pflanze verdanke.

Quercus Schochiana Dieck in letteris ["in letters" or "in correspondence", suggesting that Dieck had already used this name in letters, perhaps to Schoch or others] (Qu. Phellos × Qu. palustris). This interesting hybrid was raised by Herr Hofgärtner Schoch as several specimens from seeds of American scarlet oaks, the flowers of which had apparently been pollinated by the now dead, gigantic specimen of Qu. Phellos, which every visitor to the Wörlitzer Park knew, because these seedlings are intermediate in leaf form between Qu. Phellos and palustris or coccinea. The habit is semi-pendant. I name the interesting hybrid after its breeder, to whose generosity I owe the plant.

Original publication of Quercus xschochiana
Extract from the 1892/3 issue of Neuheiten-Offerte des National-Arboretums zu Zöschen bei Merseburg
  1. Meanwhile in the U.S.A.

In 1921 E.J. Palmer published in the Journal of the Arnold Arboretum an article entitled “Botanical Reconnaissance of Southern Illinois.” In it he wrote the following about the hybrid “Quercus palustris × Phellos”.

An unmistakable hybrid between these two species is rather frequent in low swampy woods about Cairo and Mound City, where the two parent species grow in close proximity. In that vicinity the hybrid was almost as common as the Willow Oak. This hybrid was also found near Brookport, Massac County, and at Wickliffe, Kentucky. It was not found fruiting at any station.

Years later (1948) E.J. Palmer published in the same journal his article “Hybrid Oaks of North America," in which one can read:

×Quercus Schochiana
- Dieck (Q. palustris × Phellos), Nat. Arboretums Zoschen 1894-95 [sic]
- Schoch. Mitt. Deutsch. Dendr. Ges. 1896, 9.
- Rehder, Man. Cult. Trees and Shrubs ed. 2, 156. 1940.
Quercus palustris × Q. Phellos Palmer, Jour. Arnold Arb. 2: 143. 1921.

This hybrid was first recognized in the park at Wörlitz, Germany, where it had appeared spontaneously. The name was first published without other description than citation of the supposed parents in a seed list [sic] by Dieck, and Schoch had a brief reference to it the following year, as cited above. It has been cultivated in several European gardens, but both the name and the hybrid plants that have lately been found native in several localities in the United States seem to have generally been overlooked by American botanists. Earlier specimens have in some cases been confused with × Quercus heterophylla. The leaves are quite variable, but usually resemble more closely those of the willow-oak in size and outline. The blades are mostly two to four times as long as wide, from narrowly lanceolate and entire to undulate or lobed with small asymmetric rounded or sharp bristle-tipped lobes, thinly pubescent beneath as they unfold, but soon becoming glabrous except for tufts of tomentum in the axils of the principal veins.

In a footnote, he added following Latin description: Arbor foliis lanceolalis vel oblongo-lanceolatis margine raro integris plerumque undulatis vel incomposite acute lobatis, junioribus infra pubescentibus mox glabris venularum axillis exceptis. (A tree with lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate leaves, the margin rarely entire, usually wavy or irregularly and acutely lobed, young leaves pubescent below but soon becoming glabrous except for the axillary veins.)

The first paragraph by E.J. Palmer is not entirely correct. Schoch wrote his article several years after Dieck's publication, not the following year. The oldest publication I found was the 1892/93 publication by Dieck with a brief description in his catalog of plants and not in a seed list. Furthermore, he presented this species with the remark: “Kräftige Pflanzen“ (Vigorous plants). The description was not in Latin, which is not a problem as the publication was before 1935.

  1. Conclusion

The correct publication reference for the name Quercus ×schochiana is as follows:

Quercus ×schochiana Dieck, Neuheiten-Off. Natl.-Arbor. Zöschen: 28. 1892.

 (synonym: Quercus ×schochiana Dieck ex E.J.Palmer, J. Arnold Arbor. 29(1): 40. 1948.)

 

In the literature

Ascherson, P. and P. Graebner. 1911. Synopsis der Mitteleuropäischen Flora 4. Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann.

Page 455: “ × Q. phellos × palustris wird aus dem Garten von Dieck angegeben als Q. Schochiana Dieck Neuh. Off. Nat. Arb. Zöschen 1892. 26. [sic]; Zabel in Beissn., Schelle, Zab. Handb. Laubholzben. 65 (1903) vgl. Mitt. D. Dendrol. Ges. 1896. 9. (schochiana); C. K. Schneider a. a. O. 165.”

Elwes, H.J. and A. Henry. 1910. Trees of Great Britain and Ireland, Edinburgh: Privately Printed. Vol. 5.

Page 1229 footnote 5: “Q. Phellos × palustris, Schneider, Laubholzkunde, 165 (1904): Q. schochiana, Zabel, loc. cit., and Mitt. deut. dend. Ges., 1896, p. 9.”

Schneider, C. 1904. Illustriertes Handbuch der Laubholzkunde. Charakteristik der in Mitteleuropa heimischen und im freien angepflanzten angiospermen Gehölz-Arten und Formen mit Ausschluss der Bambuseen und Kakteen. Vol. 1. G. Fischer. Jena.

Page 165: “1 × 15 Q. phellos × palustris: Q. schochiana [HORT. DIECK] ZABEL, l. c., vgl. Mit. D. D. G. 1896, 9”

Beissner, L., E.Schelle and H. Zabel. 1903. Handbuch der Laubholz-Benennung.  Berlin: Verlagsbuchhandlung Paul Parey.

Page 65. “- Schochiana Dieck = Quercus palustris × Phellos Schoch. Quercus heterophylla Britton.”

Rehder A. 1949. Bibliography of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the Cooler Temperate Regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Jamaica Plain, Mass., Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Page 118:Q. Schochiana (Q. palustris × Phellos) Dieck, Neuheit.- Off. Zöschen, 1894-95: 20 (1894), nom. subnud. — Schoch in Mitt. Deutsch. Dendr. Ges. 1896(5): 9 (1896), nom. subnud. —Schneider, Ill. Handb. Laubh. 1: 165 (1904).”


1 See for example: Govaerts R. and D. G. Frodin. World Checklist and Bibliography of Fagales: (Betulaceae, Corylaceae, Fagaceae and Ticodendraceae). Royal Botanic Gardens, 1998, p. 307. The error probably originated in Kew's 1892 list of new garden plants, published in the 1893 Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, where we find:

Quercus schochiana (Cat. Nat. Arb. Zösch. 1892. p. 26) H. tree. A hybrid between Q. phellos and Q. palustris (Zöschen Arboretum).

See New Garden Plants of the Year 1892, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1893 (Appendix II): 42.

2 Johann Gottlieb Schoch (Wörlitz, 1 February 1853 – Magedburg, 8 October 1905) was a German garden architect. After working and studying in Muskau, Munich, England, France and Regensburg, he became ducal garden manager and court gardener in Wörlitz and Oranienbaum. In 1890 he succeeded Paul Viktor Niemeyer in the office of municipal garden director of the city of Magdeburg. During his tenure, numerous green spaces in the city were expanded, newly laid out, and planned; they characterize the face of Magdeburg to this day.

Johann Gottlieb Schoch
Johann Gottlieb Schoch
Source: Wikimedia

3 The abbreviation is incorrect and should be Du Roi, for Johann Philipp Du Roi, a German physician and botanist (Braunschweig, 2 June 1741 - ibid. 8 December 1785). (Thanks to Eike Jablonski for pointing this out). Quercus palustris Du Roi Harbk. Baumz. 2: 268. pl. 5, fig. 4. 1772 is synonym of Quercus palustris Münchh. Hausvater 5: 253. 1770 (Du Roi knew Münchhausen well).

Johann Philip Du Roi
Johann Philipp Du Roi
copper engraving (1780)
Source: Wikimedia

4 Georg Dieck (Zöschen, 28 April 1847 – ibid, 21 October 1925) was a German entomologist and botanist. He studied natural sciences at Jena. In 1870, he taught in Zöschen at the large arboretum, where over 6,000 different tree and shrub species were cultivated. In addition to the maintenance of plant collections, Dieck went on expeditions in the Rockies, the Caucasus, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily, Morocco, the Balkans, and Turkey. He wrote many scientific papers describing new taxa and introduced several plants to western cultivation. He was also a notable specialist of roses. Further reading: Kümmel, Fr. & Kiehne St., 2009. Georg Dieck (1847–1925) – ein bedeutender Dendrologe des 19. Jahrhunderts aus Mitteldeutschland. Schlechtendalia 19: 1-26

George Dieck
Georg Dieck
Source: Wikimedia