Texas live oak Fagaceae Quercus
fusiformis Small symbol: QUFU
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen or nearly so, leathery, 1 to 3 inches long, oblong or narrowly elliptical in shape with an entire or spiny and sometimes slightly revolute margin; shiny green above, much paler and fuzzy below.
Flower: Species is monoecious, males in long (2 to 4 inches) drooping, yellow-green catkins; females very small inconspicuous, small spike in leaf axils.
Fruit: Acorns in clusters of 1 to 3, nut dark brown (may have lighter stripes), 3/4 inch long and 1/2 covered by the cap; cap is turbinate and warty; maturing in early fall of the first year. The nuts generally taper at both ends - the shape is "fusiform" - but there is considerable variability.
Twig: Slender, gray, finely fuzzy, stiff almost prickly; small, clustered, blunt multiple terminal buds.
Bark: Smooth when young, but rapidly breaking into fine scaly, blocks, later becoming much darker with scaly ridges.
Form: Often only large shrubs that form dense thickets but may become a small tree reaching heights of up to 40 feet with a short trunk and wide spreading crown.
Looks like: live oak - running oak - American holly
Additional Range Information: Quercus fusiformis is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting Texas live oak.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson