Quercus lyrata

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Overcup oak
Quercus lyrata (TVA).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Subgenus: Quercus subg. Quercus
Section: Quercus sect. Quercus
Q. lyrata
Binomial name
Quercus lyrata
Quercus lyrata range map 1.png
  • Quercus bicolor var. lyrata (Walter) Dippel
  • Scolodrys lyrata (Walter) Raf.

Quercus lyrata, the overcup oak, is an oak in the white oak group (Quercus sect. Quercus). It is native to lowland wetlands in the eastern and south-central United States, in all the coastal states from New Jersey to Texas, inland as far as Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois. There are historical reports of it growing in Iowa, but the species appears to have been extirpated there.[3]


Overcup oak acorns, showing the nut largely enclosed by the acorn cup

Quercus lyrata is a medium-sized deciduous tree, growing to 20 meters (66 feet) tall, with a trunk up to 80 cm (31 in) in diameter, or rarely to 140 cm (55 in).

The leaves are 10–16 cm (4–6 14 in) long, or rarely to 20 cm (7 34 in), and 5–10 cm (2–4 in) broad, deeply lobed, often somewhat lyre-shaped (lyrate), dark green above, paler and often finely hairy beneath.

The flowers are catkins, produced in the spring and maturing in about 6–7 months into acorns 2.5–5 cm (1–2 in) long and 2–4 cm (341 12 in) broad, largely enclosed by the cupule (acorn cup).[4]

The common name comes from the acorns being largely enclosed in the cup; the scientific name comes from the lyrate (lyre-shaped) leaves.

The wood is valuable, similar to that of other white oaks, and used for the same purposes.


  1. ^ "Quercus lyrata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017. 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017. data
  2. ^ "Quercus lyrata Walter". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – via The Plant List.
  3. ^ "Quercus lyrata". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014.
  4. ^ Nixon, Kevin C. (1997). "Quercus lyrata". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 3. New York and Oxford – via eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

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