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Plant Focus

Quercus macdougallii
A rare oak endemic to the Sierra Juárez in Oaxaca

Quercus warkoensir??

There is an oak one can sometimes find as Quercus warkoensir or Q. wartoensis.

After a “deep search” it became clear that it is Q. wartoensis Kotschy s.d. (Revisio generis Quercus1).

Quercus warkoensir
Quercus wartoensis herbarium specimen
© Copyright Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The variant warkoensir appears to be a misinterpretation of the handwritten name on the herbarium specimen at Kew, where it had been recorded under that name. It was recently corrected after I alerted Kew Herbarium of the error.

Quercus warkoensir card
One can see how this epithet could be easily misread as "Warkoensir"

The epithet wartoensis means growing in or near “Warto”; –ensis is an adjectival suffix indicating origin or place. Warto (now Varto) lies in Muş, a province in Turkey. As the letter "w" is pronounced in German like a "v" in English, perhaps that is why Kotschy wrote it that way. The pronunciation should therefore be "varto-en-sis" (with the "e" like in "pet").

It could well be a synonym of Quercus petraea subsp. pinnatiloba (K. Koch) Menitsky.

Q. petraea pinnatiloba
Quercus petraea subsp. pinnatiloba 
Image from stockplant at Pavia Nurseries (Belgium) ©Jan De Langhe, Ghent University Botanical Garden, 2010

1 Some labels on the herbarium sheets by Th. Kotschy bear the title “Revisio generis Quercus”. Mostly without a date (s.d.).