Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Quercus palustris Muenchh.
- Family: Beech (Fagaceae)
- Flowering: April-May
- Field Marks: Pin oak is recognized by its lower hanging branches, its deeply 5- to 7-lobed leaves,
and its small acorns about 1/2 inch long.
- Habitat: Low woods, often growing as pure stands on tight clay soil, along streams, sloughs.
- Habit: Tree up to 82 feet tall; trunk diameter usually less than 3 feet; crown narrowly rounded
or oblong, with the lower branches drooping and persisting on the tree after they are dead.
- Bark: Light or dark brown, scarcely furrowed.
- Twigs: Slender, smooth, reddish brown to dark gray.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, with 5-7 lobes, the sinuses extending more than half-way to the
midvein, dark green, smooth and shiny on the upper surface, paler and smooth on the lower
surface except for tufts of hairs in the axils of the veins, up to 7 inches long, up to 4 inches wide.
- Flowers: Male and female borne separately on the same plant, appearing when the leaves begin
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3-12.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Acorns 1-4 together, with or without stalks, up to 1/2 inch long, the nut hemispherical,
up to 1/2 inch across, enclosed less than 1/4 by the cup.
- Notes: The wood is used in general construction and for fuel and fence posts. Pin oak is a
popular ornamental. The acorns are eaten by waterfowl.
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