Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Quercus pumila Walt.
- Family: Beech (Fagaceae)
- Flowering: March-April
- Field Marks: This shrubby oak is rarely more than 6 feet tall. It has elliptic, toothless, unlobed
leaves, and acorns about 1/2 inch long.
- Habitat: Dry to moist soils in flatwoods and pinelands.
- Habit: Shrub up to 6 feet tall, often forming colonies because of branched, slender rhizomes.
- Twigs: Grayish brown, hairy at least during the first year, becoming brown with age.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, elliptic, round or pointed but with a bristle at the tip, tapering to the
base, up to 4 1/2 inches long, up to 1 1/2 inches wide, larger on sprouts, toothless and lobeless,
smooth and shiny dark green on the upper surface, gray-hairy on the lower surface.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne separately on the same plant; male flowers many in
elongated, drooping spikes; female flowers 1-few together.
- Sepals: 5-6, green, united below.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3-12.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior; styles 3.
- Fruits: Acorns ovoid, up to 1/2 inch long, about 1/3 enclosed by the bowl-shaped cup.
- Notes: This species is often called running oak. It sprouts vigorously after a burn.
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