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Shrub Live Oak

Quercus turbinella

Pen & Ink by Michael Plagens

Illustrated from a specimen found near Camp Creek, Maricopa County, Arizona 18 April 1992.

SHRUB: Typically grows to a large shrub with several to many principal stems but can also grow as a small tree.

LEAVES: The dull evergreen leaves are usually smaller than other oak species and the leaf perimeters are toothed and sharply mucronate (spiny). The leaves have a dull, scruffy cast.

RANGE: An important component of the chaparral in Arizona, appearing above 1100 m mostly in the foothills of the mountains. A population occurs in the deep shade of Palm Canyon in the Kofa Mountains. The population in the Ajo Mountains at Organ Pipe Monument has been named Quercus ajoensis and is more often a small tree.

numerous small flowers in spikes FRUIT: Acorns. The cup shells are smooth inside, not tomentose (fuzzy).

FLOWERS: Greenish (may appear yellow due to abundant pollen), small and born in catkin-like spikes. Male and female flowers separate. Wind pollinated.

UNARMED. There are no thorns on twigs or branches, however, the leaf margins can be surprisingly prickly.

Fagaceae -- Oak Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-11