Quercus semecarpifolia Sm., Cycl. 29: 20 1819. (syn: Quercus cassura Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don; Quercus obtusifolia D.Don);
E. Afghanistan to N. Thailand (as per WCSP)
Quercus semecarpifolia is an evergreen tree up to 30 meters tall. Leaves are up to 12 cm long, with a few teeth along the sides but rounded at the tip.
The epithet “semecarpifolia” refers to a resemblance between the leaves of this species and those of Semecarpus anacardium.
(From Wikipedia on 8.2.16)
Last Sunday I went trekking in the mountains with my ten year old and a couple of friends. For me the idea was to see how the vegetation differs as the altitude increases. We started at about 1800m among the familiar chir pines, blue pines, deodar cedars, ban oaks, rhododendrons, Neolitsea pallens, staggerbush, sour cherry and wild pear. Till about 2000m the wood was similarly mixed with the same species. Just at that height, the rhododendrons (R. arboreum) began to dominate but some ban oaks (Q. leucotrichophora) and Neolitsia pallens still managed to grow among them. The understorey was still mostly sweetbox (Sarcococca saligna) and paper plant (Daphne papyracea) but the new addition was the butterfly bush (Buddleja paniculata). At about 2200m rhododendrons became the dominant trees and there were beautiful specimens, some of which were quite large with hollow boles. Above 2400m, I saw my first kharsu oak (Q. semecarpifolia) and admired its glossy dark leaves with brown undersides. A little further there were many large specimens of this beautiful oak and soon it dominated the hill sides. I saw a couple of Himalayan Holly plants in fruit too.
At the top in Triund (ca. 3000m), where we had intended to reach, there were only kharsu oaks with an occasional rhododendron bush. Some cotoneaster (perhaps C. rotundifolius) plants with red fruits were on the slopes. I brought a few kharsu oak leaves down and photographed them to share here.
Kharsu oak has been on these hills since ancient times making it one of the originals here. Acorns develop during the monsoon (hence I could not collect any for a close look) and are favourite foods of our sloth bears. The foliage is more nutritious that the ban oak and the shepherds collect it for their sheep when they are in the mountains. The leaves can be round and entire or oblong and spiky on the same tree. Many of the specimens were huge, reaching more than 60 feet. The larger ones had hollow trunks and I wonder how the trees survived on such outwardly flimsy support.
Quercus semecarpifolia—Kharsu Oak
24 January 2016,
2400m and above,
Between Gallu Temple and Triund, Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
I left out one photo in the group that shows the sulphur yellow-brown undersides of leaves
superb. two types of leaves. need to search ..why? is that a tree hollow where the child is standing? a fallen tree?
Thank you …. It would be interesting to know why some trees/plants evolved that way. If I am not wrong some other oaks such as Holm Oak (Q. ilex) also have leaves that are either entire or spiky. Someone told me the other day that the European Holly too has toothed leaves lower and less spiky leaves higher up on the tree.
I will try and find out why that is so. But if you find out before me, please share.
SK207NOV17-2016:ID : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (13)
Location: Chandragiri Hill, Nepal
Altitude: 8200 ft.
Date: 19 September 2016
I think this is a Quercus sp.
Quercus semecarpifolia Sm. (accepted name) ???
Yes it is Quercus semecarpifolia
Location : Chandragiri Hills, Kathmandu, Nepal
Elevation : 8200 ft.
Date : 28 June 2018
Habit : Wild
yes it seems to be correct. but i am confused.
Submitting fruiting stage this time.
Quercus semecarpifolia tree from Auli Oak forest: 07-08-2018 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5)
I found the oak forest (Kharsu or Brown Oak) in Auli absolutely fascinating. Attaching leaf and bark images.
Help with ID of tree from Near Nohradhar-GSAUG2016/05 : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Please help with the ID of this tree from near Nohradhar in Himachal Pradesh photographed on May 26, 2015.
Some Quercus sp?
Quercus lanata (Q.lanuginosa) – called Riyanj or Lath-Banj in Uttarakhand
How do I correct ID of a species? Like in the link below, photos of Quercus semecarpifolia from Nohradhar has been wrongly identified as Q. lanata. The existence of Q. lanata is in itself in doubt.
This one is definitely Quercus semecarpifolia. The white underside and toothless margins of new leaves gave it away.
Quercus semecarpifolia Sm. ??? : 5 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4)
Location: Shivapuri National Park, Nepal
Date: 22 July 2017
Pl. also see Nidhan ji post on Lithocarpus
Tough homework !
Quercus semecarpifolia Sm: efi thread
Quercus semecarpifolia Sm.: 4 high res. images.
Location: Barsha Tal, Dhorpatan, Baglung, Nepal
Date: 31May 2023
Elevation: 2900 m.
Habit : Wild
Quercus semecarpifolia Sm: 4 very high res. images.
Location: Mid Hill way , Baglung, Nepal
Date: 31 May 2023
Elevation: 2800 m.
Habit : Wild