Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Quercus stellata Wangenh.
- Family: Beech (Fagaceae)
- Flowering: April-June
- Field Marks: The leaves of this species are thick and leathery and lack bristle-tipped lobes,
the upper 3 lobes are squarish and larger than the other lobes, and the lower surface of the
leaves is covered with star-shaped hairs.
- Habitat: Dry woods, dry bluffs, flatwoods, rarely in bottomlands.
- Habit: Small to medium tree up to 75 feet tall, with a trunk diameter up to 3 feet; crown rounded or obovoid; bark gray or light brown, divided into flat, sometimes squarish plates.
- Twigs: Stout, brownish, fuzzy-hairy when young, becoming more or less smooth; leaf scars alternate but densely clustered toward the tip of the stem, half-round, usually slightly elevated, with several bundle traces; buds more or less spherical, reddish brown, up to 1/8 inch long.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, thick, leathery, 5-lobed, the upper 3 lobes squarish and larger than the others, separated from the other lobes by a deep cleft, up to 6 inches long, up to 4 1/2 inches wide, dark green and hairy on the upper surface, paler and hairy on the lower surface; leaf stalks up to 1 inch long, stout, hairy.
- Flowers: Male and female borne separately but on the same tree, appearing as the leaves unfold, minute, the male in slender, yellow, drooping spikes, the female few in a cluster.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 1.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Acorns solitary or 2 together, with or without a short stalk, the nut oval to oblong, cup to 1 inch long, pale brown, less than 1/2 enclosed by the cup, the cup reddish brown, hairy.
- Notes: The wood is used for fence posts, fuel, and in general construction.
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