Quercus macrolepsis, Valonia oak

Valonia oak has quite a different look to most deciduous oaks with silver-green leaves with wavy margins. Coming from Greece, the Balkans and the Levant, this is a tree right out of the Old Testament.

Recent studies of three subspecies (Q. ithaburensis subsps) in this group has led to some researches separating Q. macroelpsis as its own species. (Valonia oak). The listing will follow this division.

A great all-purpose tree for drier and poorer sites across Southern Australia, and perhaps, this tough specie, is a useful farm tree too. This tree is cold hardy to around -18C  and drought hardy as well, and also tolerates all soil types including alkaline ones.

From pre modern times, as far back as 40,000 BCE, the large acorns were used as food and pig feed. So too, they fashioned the timber into tools. Researches think this species originated in the near East and was dispersed by humans to the E Mediterranean.

For the farmer or gardener, Valonia oak offers many benefits:

  • deciduous foligage forming a wide, elliptic crown
  • with gnarled, drooping branches and twisted trunk, this tree has character
  • drought hardiness
  • moderately-deep shade
  • grey undersides of leaves
  • hardiness to zone 7 (-18C)
  • grows in all soils; tolerates calcareous profiles
  • acorns can be eaten by pigs
  • bark is blackish, fissured and scaly
  • grows up to 20m
  • timber can be used for fuel and hand tools


Tree shape

Spreading and rounded

Mature size

Large 12-20m

Growth rate



Shade, carbon store, firewood, ornamental, windbeak, acorns

Soil type

All soils, good in lime soils


Drought hardy


Oval, sub leathery, hairy underneath


SE Europe and Asia minor