Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Chrysolepis sempervirens

Higher Taxonomy
Family: FagaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: OAK FAMILY
Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 7 genera, +- 900 species: generally northern hemisphere. Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Tucker, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: ChrysolepisView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Evergreen. Leaf: leathery, adaxially +- glabrous, green, abaxially golden, with densely spaced, minute, appressed scales, margin entire or +- wavy above middle; stipules generally deciduous. Staminate Inflorescence: branched or not, stiff, clustered or not, ascending to erect. Pistillate Inflorescence: clustered below staminate on same or separate stalk, 1--3-flowered. Staminate Flower: sepals generally 6, minute; stamens generally 8--10+. Fruit: nuts 1--3, enclosed by spiny, bur-like involucre, ovoid to +- spheric, +- angled; mature year 2.
Etymology: (Greek: golden scale, from abaxial leaf)
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Tucker
Unabridged Reference: Hjelmqvist 1960 Bot Not 113:373--380
Chrysolepis sempervirens (Kellogg) Hjelmq.
Habit: Shrub < 3(10) m; top rounded. Stem: trunk bark generally +- thin, +- smooth, generally not furrowed. Leaf: petiole 4--15 mm; blade 2--8(12) cm, +- elliptic, adaxially dull green, abaxially golden to rusty, base tapered to rounded, tip obtuse to rounded. Fruit: bur 2--3.5 cm diam; nut 8--13 mm.
Ecology: Rocky slopes, conifer forest, chaparral; Elevation: 700--3300 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRH, CaRH, SNH, SnGb, SnBr, PR, w MP; Distribution Outside California: southern Oregon. Flowering Time: Jul--Aug
Synonyms: Castanopsis sempervirens (Kellogg) Dudley
Jepson eFlora Author: John M. Tucker
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. minor
Next taxon: Notholithocarpus

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Jepson Video for Chrysolepis sempervirens

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Botanical illustration including Chrysolepis sempervirens

botanical illustration including Chrysolepis sempervirens

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Citation for this treatment: John M. Tucker 2012, Chrysolepis sempervirens, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 18, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 18, 2024.

Chrysolepis sempervirens
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©2015 Keir Morse
Chrysolepis sempervirens
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©2010 Steve Matson
Chrysolepis sempervirens
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©2015 Neal Kramer
Chrysolepis sempervirens
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©2016 Christopher L. Christie
Chrysolepis sempervirens
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©2015 Keir Morse

More photos of Chrysolepis sempervirens
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Chrysolepis sempervirens:
KR, NCoRH, CaRH, SNH, SnGb, SnBr, PR, w MP
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).