Quercus ilex – holm oak  +  Quercus suber – cork oak: a phenomenon that in the plant world is called a chimera

Suro-alzina de Mas Obert (Quercus ilex – holm oak  +  Quercus suber – cork oak) is a tree found in Sant Gregori (Girona, Catalonia, Spain), which is a real botanical rarity, since it is two species of the same family (the ‘oak and cork), which grow together forming a single foot, with the tissues united, a phenomenon that in the plant world is called a chimera.

Chimera, in botany, are usually simple organisms composed of two or more types of tissues that are genetically different. This happens in plants on the same basis as in animal chimeras. However, unlike animal chimeras, both types of tissue must originate from the same zygote, and the difference is often due to mutation during normal cell division.


Trunk perimeter at 1.30 m: 2.11 m (oak) and 2.43 (cork).
Perimeter of the base of the trunk: 4.32 m.
Height: 19.77 m.
Head width: 17.78 m.
Altitude above sea level: 105 m.


They are in a very thick forest of planted pine, on the old road that leads to Sant Gregori from the Mas Obert plan.

General aspect

In appearance they are in a good general state of health, although the too thick growth of the pines around them is not positive for the tree. A rarity like that of this tree is found nowhere else in Catalonia.

Photo: Joan Mañe

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