Cork oak

An evergreen tree growing in the Mediterranean Biome

By Eden Project

Eden Project

Cork oak, Mediterranean Biome (2020) by Eden ProjectEden Project

This is one of the few trees able to regenerate their bark. Cork is a kind of bark where the dead cells are waterproofed by a wax called suberin. One cubic centimetre of cork contains 40 million air cells. The suction-cup effect of the cut cells makes it stick to a bottle neck.

Cork oak pig sculptures, Mediterranean Biome (2020) by Eden ProjectEden Project

Cork oaks have been grown since the Middle Ages in Portugal and Spain in open woodlands grazed by sheep and cattle. High-value ham is obtained from the Iberian pigs that thrive on the fallen acorns. No fertilisers, herbicides or irrigation are used. This traditional farming supports a remarkable abundance and variety of rare and endangered wildlife

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