cork oak Fagaceae Quercus
suber L. symbol: QUSU5
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, leathery, ovate to elliptical, 2 to 3 inches long, margin either entire or usually with wavy teeth; leaf surface cupped, dark green above, very fuzzy and whitened below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males are slender, yellow-green catkins 2 to 3 inches long; females are very small, in clusters of 2 to 4 in leaf axils; both appear in early spring.
Fruit: Acorn, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, narrow, oblong; loose scaly cap covers approximately 1/2 of the nut; matures in 1 season.
Twig: Moderate, light gray-brown, abundant gray fuzz; buds clustered, reddish brown, with some gray fuzz, broadly triangular and pointed.
Bark: Very unique, light gray with deep reddish brown furrows, developing very thick (inches) layers of cork, ruggedly ridged and furrowed; reddish brown when recently harvested for cork.
Form: A medium sized tree (up to 65 feet tall) typically with a low dividing trunk.
Additional Range Information: Quercus suber is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)