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Afares, a complicated oak of North Africa

Airt Ben Haddu, Morocco (© ASA )  While Europe has about 36 species of oak ( Quercus ), most of these grow in the southern countries, particularly around the Mediterranean. The UK and much of the north have only two native species, the English (or Pedunculate) oak ( Quercus robur ) and the sessile oak ( Quercus petraea ).  Today, though, I want to drop to the southern side of the Mediterranean, into Africa. Eight oak species growing naturally in northern Africa, with all but one of these found on both the European and African sides of the Mediterranean Sea.    The eight species seem to be split neatly into four from the subgenus Cerris (including the ballota oak , Q uercus rotundifolia -  sometimes considered part of the holy/holm oak, Quercus ilex - and the cork oak , Quercus suber ) and four from the subgenus Quercus (including the Algerian oak , Quercus canariensis ).  Flore de L’Afrique du Nord (1961) , Volume 7,  Figure 1156:  Quercus Afares I say 'seem' because you could

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