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Quercus marilandica Muenchh.
Blackjack oak, Barren oak, Black oak, Jack oak
USDA Symbol: QUMA3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A small to medium-sized oak, 30-50 ft, with bristle-lobed leaves that are shiny on top & rusty-yellow hairy beneath. The short, nearly black trunk divides into many dense, contorted limbs, bark dark, furrowed; dead branches persistent. Leaf blades wedge shaped (obdeltoid - obovate) with a narrow, rounded base and broadening toward the tip. Blades shallowly lobed with usually an apical and 2 lateral lobes bearing bristlelike extensions (awns) of the main vein. Foliage glossy dark green turns red in fall and persists into winter. Acorn elliptic, broadly rounded at the apex and base, up to 3/4 inch long when mature; cap covering 1/2 the nut. This oak sometimes grows in colonies.
GROWTH FORM: small
to medium sized tree usually
between 15 - 45 feet (4.6 - 19.8
m), occasionally to 95 feet
(28.9 m), with an open irregular
spreading crown of crooked
branches and some dead twigs,
slow growing and short lived.
BARK: thick rough bark,
nearly black, with deep furrows,
mature bark forming irregular or rectangular plates, orange inner bark. TWIGS and BUDS: light brown twigs, finely pubescent; narrowly ovoid pointed buds, reddish-brown pubescent scales, 5-angled in cross section. LEAVES: pubescent petiole 1⁄4 - 3⁄4 inch (6 - 19 mm) long; leaf broadly triangular and widest near tip, 2 3⁄4 - 8 inches
(70 - 203 mm) long, 2 3⁄4 - 8 inches (70 - 203 mm) wide, leathery, base rounded, thickened blade with 3 - 5 broad lobes, with 1 - 3 bristle- tipped teeth, apex obtuse; glossy yellowish-green above, pale green with dense brown pubescence (scurfy) below, secondary veins raised
on both surfaces.
This species and Post Oak (Quercus stellata Wangenh.) form the Cross Timbers in Texas and Oklahoma, the forest border of small trees and transition zone to prairie grassland. This tree was first described in 1704 from a specimen in the colony of Maryland, referred to in the Latin species name. Blackjack oak is one of the few species of red oaks that shares the white oak group characteristic of vessels blocked by tyloses. Western populations in Texas and Oklahoma are often recognized as Q. marilandica var. ashei.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape: Obovate Leaf Venation: Pinnate Leaf Apex: Obtuse Breeding System:
, Monoecious Inflorescence: Catkin Fruit Type: Nut Size Notes:
Small to medium sized tree
usually between 15 - 45 feet (4.6 - 19.8 m). Leaf:
Leaves glossy yellowish-green above, pale green with dense brown pubescence (scurfy) below. Autumn Foliage:
1 - 2 acorns on a short stalk, reddish- brown top- shaped cup with pubescent
scales, inner surface pubescent,
enclosing 1⁄3 - 2⁄3 ￼of the nut; long elliptical nut,
1⁄2 - 3⁄4 inches (13 - 19 mm) in length, often faintly striped, ends in a stout point at the tip. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Red , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV Native Distribution:
Iowa east to New Jersey and Long Island, New York, south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Nebraska. Native Habitat:
Usually exists on rather poor sites with dry sandy or clay soils in the central
and southern forest regions. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Variable. Gravelly, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.
Conditions Comments: Restricted in nature to sandy soils and hardpans, this species is often seen as an scrubby, unattractive tree. When given good soil and room to develops an attractive, symmetrical form. Slow-growing, long-lived, and able to survive on very poor soils. Susceptible to oak wilt.
Attractive shade tree. Use Wildlife:
Cover, Substrate-insectivorous birds, Nesting site, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals, Fruit-rodents, Fruit-deer. Use Medicinal:
Indians used bark
for dysentery and acorns for drink. Choctaw people used blackjack oak as medication to aid in childbirth. Use Other:
Firewood, charcoal, railroad ties; leaves used for cigarette wrappers. Interesting Foliage:
Birds , Butterflies Larval Host:
Horaces Duskywing, White M hairstreak.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
American Native Nursery
- Quakertown, PA
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Record Modified: 2013-04-03
Research By: TWC Staff