Quercus dumosa

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Coastal sage scrub oak
Quercus dumosa.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Species: Q. dumosa
Binomial name
Quercus dumosa
Nutt. 1842 not Greene 1889 nor Sarg. 1895

Quercus dumosa is a species of plant in the Fagaceae family. This tree goes by the common names coastal sage scrub oak,[2] Nuttall's scrub oak, and California scrub oak.[3]


Quercus dumosa is found in Baja California and in California, with an isolated population reported on Harquahala Mountain in western Arizona.[4][5] It is threatened by habitat loss.[1] The species lends its name to the plant community called the "Quercus dumosa chaparral", in which Coastal sage scrub oak and toyon often co-dominate in chaparral.[6]

Botanical characteristics[edit]

Quercus dumosa is an evergreen shrub growing 1 to 3 meters (40-120 inches or 3.3-10.0 feet) tall from a large, deep root network. The leaves have spiny or toothed edges. The fruit is an acorn up to 1.5 centimeters (0.6 inches) wide. Some individuals produce large crops of acorns, and some produce very few fruits. The acorns are dispersed by gravity as the fall from the tree, and by animals that pick them up, such as squirrels and jays. Animals eat them immediately or cache them for later. The acorns tend to germinate easily. Reproduction via seed generally occurs only in very moist years.[3][7]


Quercus dumosa grows primarily in sandy soils such as sandstone near the coast. Its habitat is often chaparral. This oak sprouts vigorously from its stump and root crown after wildfire and develops a large canopy within a few years after a fire event. It sometimes co-dominates with Ceanothus species as early as four years after a fire. This oak also does well in the absence of fire.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b K. Nixon et al. (1998) IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Quercus dumosa . accessed 17 January, 2012.
  2. ^ USDA, 2008
  3. ^ a b c USDA FS FEIS. Tirmenstein, D. 1989. Fire Effects Information System: SPECIES: Quercus berberidifolia, Q. dumosa. Archived July 14, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. — United States Department of Agriculture, National Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.
  4. ^ Calflora taxon report, University of California, Quercus dumosa Nutt., Nuttall's scrub oak, coastal sage scrub oak, scrub oak
  5. ^ SEINet, Southwestern biodiversity, Arizona chapter
  6. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) Toyon: Heteromeles arbutifolia Archived September 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg.
  7. ^ Flora of North America, Quercus dumosa Nuttall, 1842. Coastal sage scrub oak

External links[edit]