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, the California Scrub Oak
, is a small evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...
in the white oak section Quercus
. It is a native of the scrubby hills of California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...
, and is a common member of chaparral
Chaparral is a shrubland or heathland plant community found primarily in the U.S. state of California and in the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico...
grows to 1-2 m tall, rarely to 4 m, and has sharply toothed, dull green leaves
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....
which are 1.5-3 cm long and 1-2 cm broad, leathery on their top surfaces and somewhat hairy underneath. The solitary or paired brown acorn
The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives . It usually contains a single seed , enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup-shaped cupule. Acorns vary from 1–6 cm long and 0.8–4 cm broad...
s are 1-3 cm long and 1-2 cm broad, and pointed or egg-shaped with thin caps when mature; they mature in about 6-8 months after pollination. In cooler, more exposed areas, scrub oak is usually a small, compact shrub, but in warm or sheltered areas the plant can spread out and grow several meters high.
It is often known simply as scrub oak
, though this name is also applied to other Quercus
species, especially several which were formerly grouped under the single name Q. dumosa
and are found in scrubby habitats. Many other scrub-type oaks can be found in the region, and careful inspection is required to identify individuals of Q. berberidifolia
and its hybrids.
sometimes hybridizes with other species.
The word chaparral
is derived from the Spanish
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...
word for scrub oak, chaparro