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Useful Tropical Plants

Quercus lowii

King

Fagaceae

+ Synonyms

Cyclobalanopsis lowii (King) Schottky

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Quercus lowii is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 20 metres tall. The bole can be around 40cm in diameter, occasionally with short buttresses[
899
Title
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors)
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-27-5
Description
A flora of the woody plants of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, often giving details of plant uses.
].
This is one of several timber-bearing species in the genus Quercus that is harvested from the wild on a commercial basis and traded under the name Mempening[
899
Title
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors)
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-27-5
Description
A flora of the woody plants of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, often giving details of plant uses.
].

Known Hazards

All parts of the plant contain tannins. Whilst tannins are found in many foods, and have a range of medicinal uses. They are usually only present in low concentrations. In some foods made from oaks (particularly the seeds), the tannin content can be quite high unless the food is treated to reduce tannin content.
Tannins are only of low toxicity and, because of their bitter taste and astringency, are unlikely to be eaten in large quantities. However, if they are taken in excess, they can cause stomach pains; constipation followed by bloody diarrhoea: excessive thirst; and excessive urination[
293
Title
Poisonous Plants of North Carolina
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/poison.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent concise but comprehensive guide to toxic plants that grow in N. Carolina. It lists even those plants that are of very low toxicity, including several well-known food plants such as carrots and potatoes.
].

Botanical References

899
Title
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors)
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-27-5
Description
A flora of the woody plants of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, often giving details of plant uses.

Range

Southeast Asia - Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak), Indonesia (Kalimantan)

Habitat

Found mainly on blackish ultrabasic soils, growing in mixed dipterocarp forest to montane forest; at elevations up to 2,500 metres[
899
Title
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors)
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-27-5
Description
A flora of the woody plants of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, often giving details of plant uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height15.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Quercus species generally grow well in a sunny position, though young plants usually tolerate reasonable levels of side shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. They usually prefer a good deep fertile loam which can be on the stiff side[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. They are also often tolerant of moderate exposure, surviving well but being somewhat stunted[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Seedlings soon develop a taproot and become intolerant of root disturbance, they should be planted into their permanent positions whilst young[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
Most Quercus species hybridize freely with other members of the genus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

The conical, ovoid to cylindrical seed is 15 - 20mm long and 13 - 15mm wide[
899
Title
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors)
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-27-5
Description
A flora of the woody plants of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, often giving details of plant uses.
].
Although we have no specific information for this species, the seeds of all the species of oak are edible - indeed, several species have been used as staple foods, whilst most if not all have been used for food in times of shortage, when better foods were not available[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].
The seed is usually cooked before eating, though it can also be eaten raw. It can be eaten whole, though it is more commonly dried, then ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread.
In some species, especially many of those classified as 'white oaks', the seeds are low in tannins and have a more or less sweet and agreeable flavour. The seed of most species, however, have a very bitter flavour, due especially to the presence of tannins. In these species there are various processes that can remove or at least reduce the amount of these bitter substances (although other water-soluble substances, including some minerals, will also be removed).
Tannins are water-soluble and therefore the easiest way to remove or reduce tannin levels is by soaking in water. A few different methods are listed:-
A traditional method of preparing the seed was to bury it in boggy ground overwinter and allow the wet soil to gradually leach the tannins. The germinating seed was dug up in the spring when it would have lost most of its astringency and bitterness.
Another method was to wrap the seeds in a cloth bag and place them in a stream for several weeks.
Drying the seed and grinding it to a powder before soaking speeds up the process. The fastest method is to use hot water, by cooking the powder and changing the water several times until the cooking water is no longer bitter. Alternatively, you can use cold water (which is reported to produce the best quality flour). In this case, you soak the powdered seed in cold water for 12 - 24 hours then discard the water. Repeat this process for a number of times until the soak water is no longer bitter.

The roasted seed of many Quercus species has been used as a coffee substitute.

Medicinal

Quercus (oak) species are used in the traditional medicine of many cultures, being valued especially for their tannins. Various parts of the plant can be used, most frequently it is the leaves, bark, seeds, seed cups or the galls that are produced as a result of insect damage. A decoction or infusion is astringent, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, styptic and haemostatic. It is taken internally to treat conditions such as acute diarrhea, dysentery and haemorrhages. Externally, it is used as a mouthwash to treat toothache or gum problems and is applied topically as a wash on cuts, burns, various skin problems, haemorrhoids and oral, genital and anal mucosa inflammation[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. Extracts of the plant can be added to ointments and used for the healing of cuts[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
1231
Title
Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Some Quercus Species Growing in Turkey
Publication
FABAD J. Pharm. Sci., 32, 127-130, 2007
Author
Didem Söhretoğlu; Melike Ekizoğlu; Ekrem Kiliç; M. Koray Sak
Publisher
 
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Other Uses

The bark of most species is rich in tannins and can be used as a dye and preservative for ropes etc[
899
Title
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors)
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-27-5
Description
A flora of the woody plants of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, often giving details of plant uses.
].

Sapwood pale ochre to yellow[
899
Title
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors)
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-27-5
Description
A flora of the woody plants of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, often giving details of plant uses.
].
The heartwood is yellow-brown, red-brown or dark red-brown; it is not always clearly demarcated from the lighter-coloured sapwood. The texture is rather coarse and uneven; the grain fairly straight but sometimes interlocked; there is a true oak-line silver figure prominent on the radial surface. The wood is strong to very strong; hard to very hard; moderately heavy to heavy; moderately durable and very difficult to treat. It seasons fairly slowly, without any defects except for some staining, slight bowing and end-checking; shrinkage is high. It is easy to saw when green, but slightly difficult to work when dried; planing is easy and the planed surface is smooth; turned wood has a rough surface when finished. Nailing properties are poor.
A medium hardwood, it is suitable for medium to heavy construction under cover, furniture making, interior finishing, panelling, parquet flooring etc[
996
Title
A Dictionary of Malaysian Timbers
Publication
Malayan Forest Records No. 30
Author
Wong T.M.
Website
http://Elaeocarpaceae
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-29-1
Description
A fairly comprehensive guide to Malaysian timbers, giving their properties and the main tree species from which they are obtained.
]. It is used locally for purposes such as fence post, mining props, shingles, boat building, and for making tool handles, rice pounder, poles for carts etc[
899
Title
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors)
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-27-5
Description
A flora of the woody plants of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, often giving details of plant uses.
].
The wood makes a good fuel and can be used to make charcoal[
899
Title
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors)
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-27-5
Description
A flora of the woody plants of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, often giving details of plant uses.
].

Propagation

Seed - it quickly loses viability if it is allowed to dry out. It can be stored moist and cool, but is best sown as soon as it is ripe in an outdoor seed bed, though it must be protected from mice, squirrels etc. Small quantities of seed can be sown in deep pots in a cold frame. Plants produce a deep taproot and need to be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible, in fact seed sown in situ will produce the best trees[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.

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