Quercus geminata

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Sand live oak
Quercus geminata (homeredwardprice).jpg
Acorns and leaves of a sand live oak in Florida
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Quercus
Series: Virentes
Species: Q. geminata
Binomial name
Quercus geminata
Small 1897 not Hickel & A.Camus 1923[1][2]
Sand live oak at sunrise

Quercus geminata, commonly called sand live oak, is an evergreen oak tree native to the coastal regions of the subtropical southeastern United States, along the Atlantic Coast from southern Florida northward to southeastern Virginia and along the Gulf Coast westward to southern Mississippi,[4] on seacoast dunes and on white sands in evergreen oak scrubs.[1]

A small- to medium-sized tree, the sand live oak is scrubby and forms thickets. The bark is dark, thick, furrowed, and roughly ridged. The leaves are thick, leathery, and coarsely veined, with extremely revolute margins, giving them the appearance of inverted shallow bowls; their tops dark green, their bottoms dull gray and very tightly tomentose, and their petioles densely pubescent, they are simple and typically flat with bony-opaque margins, having a length of 0.75–4.5 inches (2–12 cm) and a width of 0.2–1.5 inches (0.5–4 cm). The male flowers are green hanging catkins. The acorns are small, 0.5–1 inch (1–2.5 cm), oblong-ellipsoid or ovoid, and are commonly born in pairs on peduncles of varying lengths.[1][2]

In coastal Florida's evergreen oak scrub, the Sand Live Oak is a ubiquitous and abundant species; the threatened Florida scrub-jay is found only in Florida scrub.[5][6] Live oaks, having characteristics of the sand live oak and the southern live oak (Q. virginiana), grow further inland. It is believed that these specimens are hybrids of Q. geminata and Q. virginiana.[1] While hybridization does occur between Q. geminata and Q. virginiana, the two species are genetically and morphologically distinct.[7] The Cuban oak, Q. sagraeana, has been purported to be a hybrid[8][9] between the sand live oak and Q. oleoides, but recent evidence suggests that the Cuban oak is a separate species without hybrid origin.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Kurz, Herman; Godfrey, Robert K. (1962), Trees of Northern Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA: University Press of Florida, pp. 75–77, ISBN 978-0-8130-0666-6 
  2. ^ a b Nelson, Gil (1994), The Trees of Florida: A Reference and Field Guide, Sarasota, Florida, USA: Pineapple Press, p. 86,185,186,196, ISBN 1-56164-055-7 
  3. ^ The Plant List, Quercus geminata Small
  4. ^ [1] "FloriData — Quercus geminata", Retrieved 2011-07-06
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 1, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2011.  "The University of Florida – School of Forest Resources & Conservation — Scrub", Retrieved 2011-07-08
  7. ^ Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Pahlich, Anette (2009). "Molecular, morphological and ecological niche differentiation of sympatric sister oak species, Quercus virginiana and Q. geminata (Fagaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 96: 1690–1702. doi:10.3732/ajb.0800315. PMID 21622355. 
  8. ^ [3] "Flora of North America — Quercus geminata", Retrieved 2011-07-06
  9. ^ Muller, Cornelius H. (1955). "The origin of Quercus on Cuba". Revista de la Sociedad Cubana de Botánica. 7: 41–47. 
  10. ^ Gugger, Paul F.; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine (2012). "Molecular and morphological support for a Florida origin of the Cuban oak". Journal of Biogeography. 40: 632–645. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02610.x. 

External links[edit]

  • Many close-up photographs are found at [4] "Carolina Nature – Will Cook's Web Site"
  • [5] "North Carolina Cooperative Extension – Quercus geminata"