Sonoran Scrub Oak

Quercus turbinella

Scrub Live Oak, Quercus turbinella photo © by Michael Plagens

This Scrub Live Oak was found in the Seven Spring Recreational Area, Maricopa Co., Superstition Mountains, Arizona.

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Formica ants are a regular denzen of scrub oak foliage by day.

Wood Ant

Wood Ant

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

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 interior chaparral in Arizona, but also frequently growing on drier spots within sycamore woodlands. In this habitat scrub live oak may achieve tree-size.

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. The stems are without thorns, however, the leaf margins can be surprisingly sharp.

Fagaceae -- Oak Family

More Information:

Gall Insects on Scrub Live Oak

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
The Flora of Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 21 April 2011,
updated 9 Aug. 2016.