Oaks of the World

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  Quercus agrifolia
Author Née 1801
Synonyms acroglandis Kellogg 1873
acutiglandis Sarg. 1884
agrifolia var. frutescens Engelm.
pricei Sudw. 1907
Local names coast live oak; navel; California live oak;
Range California ; Mexico (Baja California) ; from sea level to 900 m ; introduced in Europe in 1849 by Hartweg ;
Growth habit can reach 25 m high, but more often shrubby, with prostrate twigs; spreading and rounded crown; trunk often divided from the base;
Leaves 2.5 to 7 cm long, 1.2 to 4 cm wide; evergreen; thick; elliptic, oval or oblong, sometimes almost rounded; most often convex above; apex obtuse or slightly acute; base rounded or remotely cordate; margin with spiny teeth, rarely entire ; dark lustrous green and glabrous above, paler beneath with some axillary tufts of stellate trichomes; slightly pubescent petiole, 0.5 to 1.5 cm long;
Flowers small catkins, 3-6 cm long; on hairy pedicel in first spring;
Fruits sessile acorns 2.5-3.5 cm long; paired or most often solitary; elongated and pointed; enclosed for 1/4 or 1/3 of length in a 1.5-2 cm long, shallow cupule with thin, pointed, imbricated scales; scales with free, purplish margins; inner surface of nut shell downy; maturing in 1 year; edible;

Bark, twigs and
buds

grey or dark brown bark, with broad ridges; brown twigs, somewhat pubescent, 1.5-3 mm in diameter; terminal bud chestnut brown, ovoid, 3-6 mm long, glabrous except ciliate margin scales;
Hardiness zone, habitat hardy; all types of soils (prefers dry sites);
Miscellaneous -- A. Camus : n° 297;
-- section Lobatae;
-- rare in cultivation;
-- resembles Q.ilex ; looks also like Q.wislizeni and Q.parvula but the two latter have flat or weakly convex blade leaves, and not any hair beneath;
-- hybridizes with Q.wislizeni and Q.kelloggii (see x ganderi);
Subspecies and
varieties
--- var. oxyadenia (Torr.) J.T.Howell 1931
= Q.oxyadenia Torr. in R.B.Marcy 1853
leaves strongly pubescent, even felty beneath; petioles and young twigs downy; not so close to the coast as the type ; 100 to 1600 m ; for S. Valencia-A. 2004 and Govaerts, 2007, it is actually the type species .
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