Quercus libani (Lebanon Oak)
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Botanical name: Quercus libani
Common names: Cedar of Lebanon, Lenanon Oak
Quercus libani is a Mediterranean oak species. It is a deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub or tree growing to 8 m. The leaf is slender, elongated and often asymmetrical, its base is round and its tip is slightly pointed. In the adult state the leaf's upper side is dark green and the under side is pale green.
The flowers are monoecious but flowers from both sexes can be found on the same tree and are pollinated by wind. The tree produces acorns that grow to about 2 cm to 3.5 cm in diameter. Its length is half covered by the cupule.
The acorns are very bitter due to high concentrations of tannins, this bitter taste can be leached out by washing the acorns in running water but this causes the loss of many beneficial minerals. The acorns can be dried and ground it into a powder and used to thicken stews and may be mixed with cereals for making bread. The roasted bitter acorns may be used as a coffee substitute
Galls produced by the larvae of different insects that may be found on the trees have especially high tannin concentrations, are highly astringent and were used in the treatment of haemorrhage and diarrhoea. Tannin from the galls is also used as dye.
The mulch of the Lebanon oak leaves is used as an insect repellent. It effectively repels slugs, and grubs but fresh leaves should not be used as these can inhibit plant growth. Lebanon oak wood is very hard and resistant to insect and fungal attack and is used in construction works.
An oak of the John Goodwin Collection Te Henui.