Quercus calliprinos Webb

Gallipoli Oak

Accepted name: Quercus coccifera

Small evergreen tree. Buds almost round. Young shoots brownish hairy. Leaves stiff, hard and brittle, each side with 3-5 short-spined teeth, mostly less than 5 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, dark shiny green above, pale and more or less hairless below, heart-shaped or rounded at the base; vein pairs 4-8. Leaf stalk to 0.5 cm long. Acorns to 2.5 cm long, ripening in the second year, usually solitary on a short stalk, cup scales spreading and pointed. [Q. coccifera L. var. calliprinos (Webb) Boiss.]

E Mediterranean, Algeria, Near East

Acorns of this oak were collected by soldiers fighting the Turks at Gallipoli during World War 1. Trees are known to have been grown from acorns returned to Kew Gardens, England as well as in Australia.

Placed by some authorities in Q. coccifera var. calliprinos. Recent work has given it species status as being larger in habit, often with a trunk, the leaves larger and more oblong than in Q. coccifera, Kermes Oak, and the acorns with larger cups having more or less linear scales free from the middle upwards and covered with grey down. Q. calliprinos is from the E Mediterranean including Algeria while Q. coccifera is virtually confined to the W Mediterranean.

Leaves small, hard and brittle with a few teeth on each side.

VIC: Geelong (Geelong Grammar School beside Chapel, 10 m tall in 1990, and labelled 'Gallipoli Oak acorns collected at Gallipoli by Capt. William Lampriere Winter-Cooke. Planted 4.8.1916'. This is the sole survivor of 3 trees planted together on this date. Another large tree remains at the Captain's property 'Murndal' near Hamilton. In 1985 a plant grown from an acorn of the tree in Geelong was planted by the Temple-of-the-Winds at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens); Melbourne (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens), Oak Lawn).


Q. wislizenii is occasionally grown and very similar, differing in having ovoid, pointed buds while those of Q. coccifera and Q. calliprinos have almost spherical buds.

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Fagaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.