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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

FAGACEAE

OAK FAMILY

John M. Tucker

Shrub or tree, monoecious, deciduous or evergreen
Leaves simple, alternate, petioled; margin entire to lobed; stipules small, generally deciduous
Staminate inflorescence: catkin or stiff spike; flowers many
Pistillate inflorescence 1–few-flowered, generally above staminate inflorescence; involucre in fruit generally cup-like or lobed and bur-like, bracts many, generally overlapping, flat or cylindric
Staminate flower: sepals generally 5–6, minute; petals 0; stamens 4–12+
Pistillate flower: calyx generally 6-lobed, minute; petals 0; ovary inferior, style branches generally 3
Fruit: acorn (nut subtended by scaly, cup-like involucre) or 1–3 nuts subtended by spiny, bur-like involucre; nut maturing in 1–2 years
Seed generally 1
Genera in family: 7 genera, ± 900 species: generally n hemisphere. Wood of Quercus critical for pre-20th century ship-building, charcoal for metallurgy; some now supply wood (Fagus, Quercus ), cork (Q. suber ), food (Castanea , chestnut).

QUERCUS

OAK

Evergreen or deciduous
Leaf: stipules small, generally early deciduous
Staminate inflorescences: catkins, 1–several, slender, on proximal part of twig
Pistillate inflorescence axillary among upper leaves, short-stalked; flower generally 1
Staminate flower: calyx 4–6-lobed, minute; stamens 4–10
Pistillate flower: calyx minute, generally 6-lobed; ovary enclosed by involucre
Fruit: acorn, maturing in 1–2 years; nut enclosed by cup-like involucre with thin or tubercled scales
Chromosomes: 2n=24 for all reports
Species in genus: ± 600 species: n hemisphere, to n South America, India
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name for oak)
Many more hybrids have been named but are not included here. Reproduction of many species declining.

Native

Q. berberidifolia Liebm.

SCRUB OAK

Shrub 1–3 m, sometimes tree-like and taller, evergreen
Leaf 1.5–3 cm; petiole 2–4 mm; blade oblong, elliptic, or ± round, tip generally rounded, margin ± spiny to toothed, teeth abruptly pointed, upper surface ± flat to wavy, ± shiny, green, lower surface appressed-puberulent, dull, pale green
Fruit maturing in 1 year; cup 12–20 mm wide, 5–10 mm deep, hemispheric to bowl-shaped, thick, scales clearly tubercled; nut 10–30 mm, ovoid, tip obtuse to acute, shell glabrous inside
Ecology: Dry slopes, chaparral
Elevation: 300–1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Central Western California, Southwestern California
Distribution outside California: Baja California
Synonyms: Q. dumosa Nutt. misapplied
Hybridizes with Q. durata, Q. engelmannii, Q. garryana, Q. john-tuckeri, Q. lobata.
Horticultural information: DRN, SUN: 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; STBL.

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