Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Quercus laceyi


Lacey oak, Texas blue oak, Canyon oak, Smoky oak, Rock oak


Fagaceae (Beech Family)



Quercus laceyi (Lacey oak)
Flaigg, Norman G.
Lacey oak is a medium-sized tree on good sites or a shrub on poor sites. Branches are erect and spreading and there can be multiple trunks. Leaves are deciduous, thick and oblong with a few shallow lobes. Foliage is peach-colored in spring and fall; dark-blue or grayish-green in summer. Summer foliage takes on a smokey appearance.

A small to medium tree, which grows up to 60 feet (18.3 mm). BARK: light gray with shallow furrows and scaly ridges. TWIGS and BUDS: young twigs are gray and pubescent, mature limbs become smooth and reddish-brown; smooth, brown ovoid buds. LEAVES: petiole varies from 1⁄8 - 1⁄2 inch (3 - 13 mm) long; leaf blade is obovate or elliptical, 1 1⁄2 - 3 1⁄2 inches (38 - 89 mm) long, 1 1⁄8 - 2 1⁄2 inches (29 - 63 mm) wide, margin of the leaf is entire or with shallow lobes, trees growing on moist sites may have leaves with deep lobes that resemble white oak (Q. alba), secondary veins often end in a tooth, apex rounded; smooth, green above, juvenile leaves have a white pubescence beneath, mature leaves become smooth beneath.

Named for Howard Lacey, who first collected specimens on his property near Kerrville, Texas. Lacey oak is increasingly popular in central Texas as an oak wilt-resistant alternative to or replacement for the commonly used but oak wilt-prone Escarpment Live Oak (Quercus fusiformis) and local red oaks (Quercus buckleyi, Quercus texana, and Quercus shumardii). It also provides habitat for wildlife and is sometimes used for fuel. The largest known Lacey oak grows in Blanco County, Texas.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Ovate
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Margin: Lobed
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Inflorescence: Catkin
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: Small to medium tree, which grows up to 60 feet (18.3 mm).
Leaf: Leaves green above, juvenile leaves have a white pubescence beneath, mature leaves become smooth beneath.
Fruit: Acorns annual; 1 - 3 acorns on a short peduncle up to 3⁄8 inch (10 mm) in length, saucer- shaped cup with pubescent scales, covers up to 1⁄3 of the nut; oblong or barrel-shaped nut, usually blunt at both ends, up to 3⁄4 inch (19 mm) long.
Size Class: 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May

Distribution

USA: TX
Native Distribution: Restricted to southern and southwestern parts of the Edwards Plateau in Texas and in the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas.
Native Habitat: Often found associated with limestone outcrops, woodland, and riparian zones with mixed stands of ash, basswood and other oaks, a component of the pine-juniper-madrone-oak forest type of northern Mexico at elevations between 6,000 - 8,200 feet (1,830 - 2,500 m).

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Limestone or rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Laceys oak is a medium-sized tree on good sites or a shrub on poor sites. Branches are erect and spreading and there can be multiple trunks. Leaves are deciduous, thick and oblong with a few shallow lobes. Foliage is peach-colored in spring and fall; dark-blue or grayish-green in summer. Summer foliage takes on a smokey appearance.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Provides food and cover for deer, small mammals, and birds.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: No

Last Update: 2012-07-18