Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Quercus lyrata Walt.
- Family: Beech (Fagaceae)
- Flowering: April-May
- Field Marks: The nut of the overcup oak is nearly completely enclosed by the cup. The leaves
are divided into 5-7 lobes that are pale on the lower surface.
- Habitat: Wet ground, swamps, along streams, bayous, floodplains.
- Habit: Tree up to 100 feet tall; trunk diameter up to 3 feet; crown rounded to oblong.
- Bark: Gray or grayish brown, divided into flat plates.
- Twigs: Coarse, up to 1/6 inch thick, smooth.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, divided into 5-7 rounded lobes, the sinuses shallow to deep, dark
green and smooth on the upper surface, pale and softly hairy to nearly smooth on the lower
surface, up to 10 inches long, up to 4 1/2 inches wide.
- Flowers: Male and female borne separately on the same plant, appearing when the leaves begin
to unfold; male flowers crowded into slender, drooping spikes; female flowers few together.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3-12.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Acorns solitary or 2 together, with or without a stalk, the nut nearly spherical or flattened,
up to 1 inch in diameter, often nearly entirely enclosed by the scaly cup.
- Notes: The wood is used for interior finishing, cabinets, fuel, and fence posts. The leaves are
highly variable, even on the same tree. The light undersurface of the leaves is a good recognition
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