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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Quercus lyrata Walt.
Overcup oak, Swamp post oak, water white oak, swamp white oak
USDA Symbol: QULY
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Overcup oak bears a distinctive acorn; the nut is almost entirely covered by the cup. The 30-45 ft., deciduous tree has a rounded crown at maturity. Its lower branches are upswept. Dark-green, leathery leaves turn rich, tannin-brown in fall, abscising early. Tree with rounded crown of small, often drooping branches, with acorns almost covered by the cup, and narrow deeply lobed leaves.
to large slow growing tree up to
80 feet (24.4 m), occasionally
to 155 feet (47.2 m), with a
rounded crown. BARK: gray
with deep furrows and scaly
ridges or plates. TWIGS and
BUDS: grayish pubescent
twigs becoming smooth with
age; ovoid buds with light brown pubescent scales. LEAVES: petiole 3⁄4 inch (19 mm) in length; leaf blade narrowly oblong, 4 - 6 1⁄2 inches (101 - 165 mm) long, 2 - 4 inches (51 - 101 mm) wide, base cuneate
to acute, margins deeply lobed with sinuses greater than 1⁄2 way to midrib, lobes rounded with 1 - 3 teeth; surface dark green (may be shiny) above, and pubescent grayish-green below, with a whitish bloom that rubs off.
The Latin species name, meaning lyre-shaped, refers to the leaves.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape: Oblong Leaf Venation: Pinnate Leaf Margin:
Lobed Leaf Base: Cuneate Breeding System:
, Monoecious Inflorescence: Catkin Fruit Type: Nut Size Notes:
to large slow growing tree
80 feet (24.4 m), occasionally
to 155 feet (47.2 m). Leaf:
Leaf surface dark green (may be shiny) above, and pubescent
grayish-green below. Fruit:
Acorns annual; 1 1⁄2 inch (38 mm) peduncle
with 1 - 2 acorns; spheroid shaped cup with gray pubescent
covering most of the nut; light brown, ovoid or oblong
1 - 2 inches (25 - 51 mm) long, finely ￼pubescent. Size Class:
72-100 ft. , More than 100 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
AL , AR , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA Native Distribution:
Delaware and New Jersey south to Florida, west to Texas, and north through the Mississippi Valley and drainages to Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Native Habitat:
Restricted to poorly-drained lowlands of the Southern coastal plain and major rivers of the South and mid West. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Poorly drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Tolerates flooding. Not widely available, but is likely to become an important landscape tree.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Attracts migratory waterfowl.
Use Other: This oak species is often utilized as white oak lumber.
Interesting Foliage: yes
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Record Modified: 2011-09-27
Research By: TWC Staff