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Vascular Plants of California
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Notholithocarpus densiflorus

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: NotholithocarpusView Description 


Species In Genus: 1 sp.: western North America. Etymology: (Greek: false Lithocarpus) Note: Molecular studies indicate closer relationship with Castanea, Castanopsis, Quercus than with Lithocarpus, from which it is now segregated.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Tucker
Reference: Manos et al. 2008 Madroño 55:181--190
Notholithocarpus densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Manos, C.H. Cannon & S. Oh
Habit: 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.

Synonyms: Lithocarpus densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Rehder
Jepson eFlora Author: John M. Tucker
Reference: Manos et al. 2008 Madroño 55:181--190
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Key to Notholithocarpus densiflorus

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Citation for this treatment: John M. Tucker 2012, Notholithocarpus densiflorus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=89061, accessed on October 31, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 31, 2020.

Notholithocarpus densiflorus var. densiflorus
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Notholithocarpus densiflorus
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© 2019 California Academy of Sciences
Notholithocarpus densiflorus
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© 2019 California Academy of Sciences
Notholithocarpus densiflorus var. densiflorus
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Notholithocarpus densiflorus var. densiflorus
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© 2005 George W. Hartwell
Notholithocarpus densiflorus var. echinoides
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© 2013 Neal Kramer

More photos of Notholithocarpus densiflorus var. echinoides in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Notholithocarpus densiflorus:
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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).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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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).