Quercus dentata - Quarryhill Botanical Garden

Quercus dentata – Japanese Emperor Tree
Visit the site http://oaks.of.the.world.free.fr/quercus_dentata.htm and scroll down to view excellent
photos of buds, flowers, leaves, and acorns with frilly cap.
Quercus dentata, the Japanese emperor oak, rises high at Quarryhill atop North Slope as well as in
Sunny Slope and Scree. This majestic oak can be recognized from a distance in spring and summer by
its large, bright green leaves, its vibrant fall color in early autumn, and its marcescent brown leaves (that
persist on branches) throughout winter. It takes an up-close visit to the tree, however, to observe the frilly,
copper-colored caps that enclose most of the nearly round acorns.
Josie Lee provides some interesting details that garden visitors may like to hear:
(Quoted from http://japanesefooddictionary.blogspot.com/2012/04/kashiwa-mochi.html)
“Kashiwa-mochi " Oak leaf rice cake. 柏餅、かしわもち。
Round-shaped mochi filled with sweet bean paste (an) and wrapped in an oak leaf (from the
Quercus dentate aka Kashiwa or Daimyo Oak (Daimyo = most powerful feudal rule in Japan from
10th century to 19th century). Popular sweet on Boys Day (Tango no Sekku, May 5) because of
the symbolism that the old oak leaves do not fall off until the new shoots have grown. Is
nowadays available the whole year. The origin of kashiwa-mochi goes back to mid 18th c. Edo.
They were popularized over the whole country by the system of alternate attendance of daimyo in
Edo. In the Kansai and Western Japan, where the oak does not occur naturally, originally on
Boys Day chimaki (mochi made of glutinous rice and wrapped in a bamboo leaf- symbolise
strength) were eaten. Instead of oak leaves, here also sometimes leaves of greenbrier -type trees
are used (Sarutoriibara, Smilacaceae ***). In contrast to sakura-mochi, where the cherry leaf has
been pickled, the oak leaf is not meant to be eaten.”
(Quoted from http://japanese.about.com/od/namikosbloglessons/a/lesson97.htm)
“May 5th is Children's Day. It is a day to celebrate a child's growth and happiness. It was
originally a boy's festival, but was changed to include both genders. There are often special
dishes served at seasonal events. Kashiwamochi is traditionally served on Children's Day. It is a
rice cake wrapped in oak leaves. Inside there is a sweet bean paste. Since Oak trees don't shed
old leaves until new leaves grow, they are seen as a symbol of the prosperity of one's
descendants. Chimaki (sweet rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaf) are sometimes served instead
of Kashiwamochi, as oak trees were not native in the west of Japan.”
To view many (copyrighted) images of leaf-wrapped mocha, such as these below, google “mocha
wrapped in oak leaf”
Image from tumblr.com