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Quercus hemisphaerica W. Bartram ex Willd.
Darlington oak, Laurel oak
USDA Symbol: quhe2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
A pyramidal-rounded oak to 120 ft. with Laurel oak is a short-lived, pyramidal-rounded, evergreen, medium to large tree that
can grow to heights of 100 feet (30.5 m). BARK: dark brown with deep furrows producing flat ridges. Bark is smooth on branches and young trunks, low-ridged on old trunks.
TWIGS and BUDS: smooth, brown to dark red twigs; reddish to purplish-brown ovoid buds, scale margins smooth or ciliated. Leaves shiny, leathery, dark-green, falling about the time new ones appear in spring.
Leaves short smooth petiole up to
1⁄4 inch (6 mm) in length; leaf blade narrow ovate or elliptical, 1 1⁄8 - 4 3⁄4 inches (29 - 121 mm) long, 3⁄8 - 1 1⁄2 inches (10 - 38 mm) wide, leathery, base
￼obtuse or rounded, margin entire or with shallow lobes near apex. Both surfaces are smooth, or rarely with minute axillary tufts or tomentum beneath.
Laurel oak is fast growing and matures in about 50 years. Used for firewood and as an urban shade tree. The largest known laurel oak grows near Wrens, Jefferson County, Georgia.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape: Elliptic
, Ovate Leaf Venation: Pinnate Leaf Margin: Entire
, Lobed Leaf Base:
Rounded Leaf Texture:
Leathery Breeding System:
, Monoecious Inflorescence: Catkin Fruit Type: Nut Size Notes:
Medium to large tree
can grow to heights of 100 feet (30.5 m). Fruit:
Acorns biennial; sessile; cup has fine pubescence on scales and on inner surface, covering up to 1⁄3 of nut; ovoid to hemispherical nut,
dark brown to black, 1⁄2 inch (13 mm) long. Size Class:
More than 100 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
, VA Native Distribution:
Coastal plain from s.e. VA
to e. TX Native Habitat:
Scrub oak sandhills; dune areas; stream banks.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Not separated from Q. laurifolia by some authorities.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Acorns eaten profusely by wildlife.
Use Other: Used for firewood and as an urban shade tree.
Interesting Foliage: yes
PropagationCommercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2011-09-25
Research By: TWC Staff