Quercus macrolepis Kotschy

Valonia Oak

Medium widespreading tree (more or less evergreen in Victoria) to about 10-15 m tall. Young shoots with dense white or yellow down. Buds large, hairy. Leaves ovate, mostly 5-8 cm long, 2-4 cm wide with dense white or yellow hair above and below at first and persisting below; margins with bristled teeth; tip pointed, base wedge-like and generally 'eared' at the base; vein pairs mostly 5-8. Leaf stalk 1-2.5 cm long. Acorns hairy and almost completely enclosed in the extremely large, hairy cup with long, spreading scales around the lip. [Q.aegilops Willd.]

Italy, Balkans, Turkey

J.H. Maiden, a former Director of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, recorded Wardian cases of young plants and acorns sent to a Mr Cunnack of Castlemaine, Victoria, in 1880, the plants to be used primarily for the tanning industry. The acorns grew successfully and were distributed 'here and there' including the Macedon State Nursery, Victoria. The young trees produced acorns in 1893 after 13 years and the new acorns were further distributed both in Victoria and interstate. The largest numbers went to Ballarat but many also went to New South Wales. Rows of 14 of the original trees remain on the site of Mr Cunnacks property at Winters Flat, Castlemaine.

Acorn cups, known as valonea, are used for tanning of heavy, quality leathers.

Leaves mostly eared at the base and hairy on both surfaces at first, the marginal teeth with bristles; acorn hairy and almost enclosed within the extremely large, long-scaled cup.

VIC: Broadford; Castlemaine (Winters Flat Primary School, 14 trees, probably the original ones introduced in June 1879, 9' tall in September 1887, largest 12 m in 1995); Glenaroua (orchard, 24 trees); Harcourt (in oak plantation behind service station, Mt Alexander); Hawthorn (Central Gardens, Henry St); Malvern (Central Park and Hedgeley Dene Gardens - 4 trees at the end of Stanley St); Shepparton (Maroopna Common, grove of about 10 trees).

Maiden (1899).

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.