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John M. Tucker, except as noted

Shrub, tree, evergreen or not; monoecious. Leaf: simple, alternate, petioled; margin entire to lobed; stipules small, generally deciduous. Staminate inflorescence: catkin or stiff spike, many-flowered. Pistillate inflorescence: 1–few-flowered, generally above staminate inflorescence; involucre bracts many, generally overlapping, flat or cylindric. Staminate flower: calyx generally 4–6-lobed, minute; petals 0; stamens 4–12+. Pistillate flower: calyx generally 6-lobed, minute; petals 0; ovary inferior, style branches generally 3. Fruit: 1 nut subtended, partly enclosed by scaly, cup-like involucre or 1–3 nuts subtended, enclosed by spiny, bur-like involucre; mature years 1–2. Seed: generally 1.
7 genera, ± 900 species: generally northern hemisphere. [Li et al. 2004 Int J Plant Sci 165:311–324] Wood of Quercus critical for pre-20th century ship-building, charcoal for metallurgy; some now supply wood (Fagus, Quercus), cork (Quercus suber), food (Castanea, chestnut). Lithocarpus densiflorus moved to Notholithocarpus. Scientific Editors: Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Li, R.-Q., Chen, Z.-D., Lu, A.-M., Soltis, D. E., Soltis, P. S., & Manos, P. S. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships in Fagales based on DNA sequences from three genomes. Int. J. Plant Sci. 165: 311–324.]

Key to Fagaceae


1 sp.: western North America. (Greek: false Lithocarpus) [Manos et al. 2008 Madroño 55:181–190] Molecular studies indicate closer relationship with Castanea, Castanopsis, Quercus than with Lithocarpus, from which it is now segregated.

N. densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Manos et al.
Shrub, tree < 30(45) m, evergreen; trunk bark gray-brown. Leaf: petioles 10–25 mm; blade 3–14 cm, oblong to ± ovate, adaxially sparsely stellate-hairy, ± glabrous in age, abaxially fine-woolly, in age ± glabrous, base ± rounded, tip obtuse, margin entire to serrate; stipules early-deciduous. Staminate inflorescence: spike, stiff, spreading to erect, many-flowered, dense. Pistillate inflorescence: below staminate inflorescence on same or separate stalk, 1-flowered. Staminate flower: sepals 5–6, minute; stamens 10–12. Fruit: mature year 2; nut 1, 20–35 mm, ovoid to ± spheric, partly enclosed by cup-like involucre (cup), remnants of perianth and style persistent as small point at tip; cup (1.5)2–3 cm diam, saucer-shaped, scales slender, ± tapered, reflexed to spreading. [Lithocarpus densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Rehder] [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Expanded author citation: Notholithocarpus densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Manos, C.H. Cannon & S. Oh

Key to Notholithocarpus densiflorus

N. densiflorus var. densiflorus
Leaf: 4–14 cm, 12–40 mm wide.
Redwood, mixed-evergreen forest; < 1500 m. Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, Western Transverse Ranges; southern Oregon. [Lithocarpus densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Rehder var. densiflorus] Jun–Oct [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Expanded author citation: Notholithocarpus densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Manos, C.H. Cannon & S. Oh var. densiflorus

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Notholithocarpus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Notholithocarpus densiflorus var. densiflorus Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.