Elegant Himalayan Oak
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Elegant Himalayan Oak
E Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Elegant Himalayan Oak • Nepali: Arkhaulo • Mizo: Thingpuithing-hnahsin, Vawktul
Botanical name: Lithocarpus elegans    Family: Fagaceae (Beech family)
Synonyms: Quercus elegans, Quercus grandifolia, Quercus spicata

Elegant Himalayan Oak is a tree up to 10-15 m tall, hairless except for inflorescences. Leaf-stalks are 5-10 mm; leaf blade obovate, inverted-lanceshaped, or sometimes oblong, 15-40 x 5-15 cm, leathery to rigidly papery, concolorous, base often oblique and eared, somewhat rounded, or rarely wedge-shaped, margin entire, tip pointed; secondary veins 13-20 on each side of midvein, fusing near margin. Male inflorescences are usually solitary, occasionally 3-many in a panicle; axis woolly with short hairs, rarely becoming hairless. Female inflorescences arise at branch-ends, usually in pairs, up to 20 cm; axis base 1-1.6 cm thick; cupules in clusters of 3-5, usually 1 or 2 developed. Cupule is cup-shaped, about 2.6 cm in diameter, enclosing 1/3-2/3 of nut, wall to 4 mm near base and woody; basal bracts often fused into horizontal ridges, broadly ovate to broadly rhomboid, finely velvet-hairy. Nut depressed spherical, 1.5-2.2 x 2-2.6 cm, tip flat and ą concave or rarely rounded and pointed, wall 1.5-2 mm thick; scar 1.6-2 cm in diam., concave but center sometimes convex. Elegant Himalayan Oak is found in E. Himalaya to S. Central China and Malesia, at altitudes of 1400-2000 m.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Gangtok, Sikkim.

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