Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Quercus agrifolia Née
California live oak, Coast live oak, Encina
USDA Symbol: QUAG
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A picturesque, broad-canopied, evergreen oak, 20-50 ft. high and wide. Old trees can reach 100 ft. Thick, slightly glossy, gray-green leaves are oval and holly-like.Evergreen tree with short, stout trunk; many large, crooked, spreading branches; and broad, rounded crown; sometimes shrubby. This is the common oak of the California coast and foothills, forming parklike groves that often appear in the scenery of motion pictures made in Hollywood.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape: Elliptic Leaf Venation: Pinnate Leaf Texture:
Leathery Breeding System:
, Monoecious Inflorescence: Catkin
, Spike Size Notes:
Height to 100 feet. Leaf:
Male catkins 2-4 inches long.
Light brown acorn. 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color:
Red , Yellow , Green Bloom Time:
Mar , Apr , May Bloom Notes:
Males yellow-green catkin,
females reddish green spike.
CA Native Distribution:
CA Coast Ranges from Sonoma Co., s. to Mex. Native Habitat:
Coastal valleys & slopes below 3500 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Well-drained soil.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Hedge.
Use Wildlife: Attracts Oak Titmouse, Western Scrub Jay, Stellers Jay, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, and about 30 other species of birds.
Use Food: The acorns were among those preferred by Indians; after removing the shells, they ground the seeds into meal, which was washed to remove the bitter taste, and boiled into mush or baked in ashes as bread.
Use Other: Long-lived.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: California sister butterfly.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.
View Recommended Species page
Record Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff