Quercus acerifolia Stoynoff & Hess

  • Family: Fagaceae (Oaks and beeches)
  • Common name: maple-leaf oak
  • Synonym: Q. shumardii var. acerifolia

    Tree to 15 m (50 ft) tall and 60 cm (2 ft) diameter, with rounded crown. Bark dark gray, smoothish, furrowed into blackish ridges on lower trunk and older branches. Twigs slender, grayish-brown to reddish-brown, glabrous or sparsely pubescent, ending in a cluster of small pointed gray or brown buds. Leaves alternate, ovate to broadly elliptic, 7-14 cm (2.8-5.5 in) long, 10-15 cm (4-6 in) wide, deeply divided into 5-7 lobes which are broadest toward the tip and end in several bristle-tipped teeth (leaf size and shape are suggestive of sugar maple), dark green above, with tufts of hairs in vein axils below. Fruits are acorns maturing in the second year, egg-shaped, 10-20 mm (0.4-0.8 in) long and 9-15 mm (0.4-0.6 in) wide, with a more or less shallow cup.

    Distribution: This species is rare and is found in the Ouachita Mountains of southwestern Arkansas and possibly in LeFlore County, Oklahoma.
    Habitat: mesic upland forests
    NWI status: none
    Comment: This taxon is often considered to be a variety or form of Q. shumardii. Quercus is the ancient classical name for the European oaks; acerifolia refers to the resemblance of the leaves to those of some maples.
    Field identification: This is the only oak with a leaf resembling those of sugar maple.

    Distribution in Oklahoma: Maple-leaf oak has been reported from Rich Mountain in extreme eastern Oklahoma, but no Oklahoma specimens are in the Bebb Herbarium.

    Last update: 9/16/99
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