Leaf: Alternate, simple, oblong, 6 to 10 inches long, with 5 lobes, the two middle lobes are distinctly square, resulting in an overall cruciform appearance, thickened texture; green above with scattered stellate pubescence, pubescent and paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; male flowers are yellow-green, borne in naked, hanging catkins, 2 to 4 inches long; female flowers are reddish and appear as single, short spikes from leaf axils, appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Acorns are 1/2 to 2/3 inches long and ovoid; cap is bowl-shaped and warty/scaly, covering 1/3 to 1/2 of the nut; Individual scales are more apparent than white oak; maturing in one year and ripening in the fall.
Twig: Gray or tawny-tomentose and dotted with numerous lenticels; multiple terminal buds are short, blunt, orange-brown, somewhat pubescent, short, thread-like stipules may be present.
Bark: Ashy gray and initially quite scaly, later becoming more blocky and ridged, very similar to white oak.
Form: A small to Medium sized tree up to 65 feet tall with a crown that has gnarled and twisted branches.
Looks like: sand post oak - overcup oak - bur oak - white oak
Additional Range Information: Quercus stellata is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
More Information: Fall Color - Landowner Factsheet
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2019 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 map source information