Quercus acutidens Torrey

Torrey's Scrub Oak
Fagaceae (Oak Family)


Torrey's scrub oak, often and perhaps properly considered as a hybrid species of engelmannii and cornelius-mulleri, is here treated as a pure taxon, following the analysis of Tom Chester which may be examined here.  It may be found as a small tree 15'-20' tall (see the fourth picture from Monserate Mountain) or as a shrub 4'-6' tall (see the last picture from the Wiashal Trail at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve).  The leaves are from 3/4" to 2-1/4" long, with ± leathery oblong to ovate blades that are wavy-margined to irregularly-toothed and have obtuse to short-
toothed tips.  Generally a shiny green to dull and bluish-green on the upper surfaces, the leaves are dull, pale green and densely puberulent below becoming glabrous in age.  As with other oaks, the staminate inflorescence is a catkin , while the pistillate inflorescences are axillary among the upper leaves.  The acorn cup is bowl-shaped with warty scales, 3/8" to just less than 3/4" wide, and 1/4" to 5/16" deep.  The nut is oblong to ovoid, 3/4" to not quite 1" long, with a tapered to obtuse tip.  Torrey's scrub oak is found on chaparral and woodland slopes to about 5000' or so in the Peninsular Range from southern Riverside County through interior San Diego County, where it is the most abundant scrub oak.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Quercus 2) acutidens.
Pronunciation: KWER-kus ak-YOO-ti-dens.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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