Quercus phellos L.

  • Family: Fagaceae (oaks and beeches)
  • Common name: willow oak

    Large tree to 25 m (80 ft) tall and 1 m diameter. Twigs slender, dark brown, glabrous, ending in a cluster of small pointed dark brown glabrous buds. Bark dark gray, smooth and hard, becoming black, rough, and furrowed into irregular narrow ridges on older trunks. Leaves alternate, narrowly oblong or lanceolate, 5-10 cm (2-4 in) long and 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) wide, not toothed or lobed, glabrous green above, light dull green below with with few or no hairs. Fruits are acorns maturing in the second year, about 1 cm (0.4 in) long and wide, with a shallow cup.

    Distribution: Native to the Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plain from Texas to Pennsylvania.
    Habitat: mostly poorly drained floodplains on the Coastal Plain and Arkansas Valley.
    Comment: The species is an important source of red oak lumber. Quercus is the ancient classical name for the European oaks; phellos means "cork" and is the ancient Greek name of the European cork oak.
    NWI status: FACW

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/17/99
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