Quercus falcata

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Southern red oak
Quercus falcata leaf bark.jpg
Leaf and bark

Secure (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Lobatae
Species: Q. falcata
Binomial name
Quercus falcata
Quercus falcata range map 1.png

Quercus falcata, commonly known as the southern red oak or Spanish oak, is a tree in the red oak section (Lobatae) of the genus Quercus native to the eastern and south-central United States.


Quercus falcata occurs on dry or sandy upland sites from southern New York (Long Island) south to central Florida and west to Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.[3] In the northeastern portion of its range the species is relatively rare and found almost exclusively along the coast; its highest prevalence is throughout the piedmont region of the Southeast.[4]


Quercus falcata is a medium to large-sized deciduous tree reaching 25–30 meters (83-100 feet) tall, rarely 35–38 meters (116-127 feet) (forest grown specimens on highly productive sites), with a trunk up to 1.5 meters (60 inches or 5 feet) in diameter, the crown with a broad, round-topped head. The leaves are 10–30 cm (4-12 inches) long and 6–16 cm (2.4-6.4 inches) wide, with 3 to 5 sharply pointed, often curved, bristle-tipped lobes, the central lobe long and narrow; the small number of long, narrow lobes is diagnostic, readily distinguishing Southern Red Oak from other red oaks. The base of the leaf is distinctly rounded into an inverted bell shape and often lopsided. They are dark green and shiny above, and rusty and hairy below, particularly along the midrib and veins. The seed is a short acorn 9–16 mm long, bright orange-brown, enclosed for one-third to half of its length in a flat cup. The acorn matures at the end of its second season. The bark is dark brownish gray with narrow, shallow ridges.[5]

Southern red oak has been reported to form occasional hybrids with several other red oaks in the region.


External links[edit]

Media related to Quercus falcata at Wikimedia Commons