Quercus suber, Cork oak,
Hebrew: אלון השעם, Arabic: السنديان الفليني

Scientific name:  Quercus suber L.
Common name:  Cork oak
Hebrew name:  אלון השעם
Arabic name:  السنديان الفليني
Family:  Fagaceae, Beech family, אלוניים

Quercus suber, Cork oak, אלון השעם ,السنديان الفليني
Weizman Insitute, Rehovot

Life form:  Evergreen tree
Stems:  Up to 20 m high, with thick, corky bark; twigs tomentose
Leaves:  3-7 cm long, ovate-oblong, sinuate-dentate, dark green above, grey-tomentose beneath; midrib sinuous
Inflorescence:  Monoecious flowers; male inflorescences are long, pedunculate and arise from the axillary buds of the previous year’s branches; female flowers appear on vigorous new growth
Flowers:  Insignificant monoecious flowers, yellow-green; staminate flower, stamens 4–10; pistillate flower; calyx minute, generally 6-lobed; ovary enclosed by involucre.
Fruits / pods:  Acorns, 2-3cm long, oval-oblong
Flowering Period:  Spring
Habitat:  Mediterranean maquis and forest
Distribution:  North Africa: N Algeria, Marocco, Tunisia, Europe: Corsica, France, ES Italy, Portugal, Sardegna, Sicilia, Spain
Chorotype:  Mediterranean
Summer shedding:  Perenating

Quercus suber, Cork oak, אלון השעם ,السنديان الفليني
Weizman Insitute, Rehovot


Derivation of the botanical name:
Quercus, Latin for oak.
suber, cork.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
The primary source of commercial cork. The outer layer is harvested from this tree manually with a hatchet. The first cutting takes place when the tree is 25 years old, and it can be harvested once a decade thereafter. Harvesting the cork does not harm the tree, and a new layer of cork is gradually regenerated (100 trees at the Weizmann Institute of Science).

Quercus suber, Cork oak, אלון השעם ,السنديان الفليني
Weizman Insitute, Rehovot