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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 996. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/18/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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15. Quercus alba L. (white oak)

Pl. 416 h–j; Map 1853

Plants trees to 35 m tall. Bark light ashy gray, divided into loose plates or strips, or more or less persistent ridges on old trunks. Twigs 1.5–3.0(–4.0) mm thick, reddish brown to grayish brown, sometimes glaucous, glabrous. Buds 2–5 mm long, reddish brown, the scales glabrous or sparsely pubescent, usually also hairy along the margins. Petioles 6–25 mm long. Leaf blades 12.5–21.0 cm long, 9.5–13.0 cm wide, relatively thin and flexible, obtuse to somewhat tapered at the base, divided (30–)60–90% of the width, the lobes (2)3–6 per side, deeper above the leaf base; well-developed lobes 13–36 mm wide, elliptic to narrowly oblong, rounded or rounded-obtuse apically, the largest lobes often with 1 or 2 small secondary lobes on the lower margin and sometimes 1 on the upper margin; secondary veins (3)4–6 per side, some reaching the margin at the tips of the lobes, usually others reaching toward sinuses and turning aside before reaching the margin; the upper surface dull, glabrous, the undersurface more or less glaucous, appearing glabrous (few to many appressed unbranched hairs visible at high magnification), smooth to the touch. Acorn stalks 2–41 mm long, the cups 7–12 mm long, 11–23 mm wide, covering 20–40% of the nut, bowl-shaped, the outer surface with the scales 1.5–3.0 mm long, those near the cup margin not differentiated. Nuts 16–23 mm long, 14–17 mm wide, barrel-shaped to bluntly ovoid. 2n=24. April–May.

Common nearly throughout the state (eastern U.S. west to Minnesota, Nebraska, and Texas; Canada). Bottomland forests, mesic to dry upland forests, bases and tops of bluffs, banks of streams and rivers, and margins of sinkhole ponds; also pastures, railroads, and roadsides.

The leaves in Quercus alba vary a great deal in depth of lobing and width of the lobes (Baranski, 1975). Forms with leaves that are shallowly divided into broad lobes have been called f. latiloba (Sarg.) E.J. Palmer & Steyerm.

Hardin (1975) reviewed natural hybridization in this species. Hybrids with eleven other species of white oaks are known from throughout its range. Five of these have been documented from Missouri.



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