Quercus minima (Sarg.) Small
Dwarf Live Oak, Minimal Oak
Fagaceae (Beech Family)
Synonym(s): Quercus virginiana var. minima
USDA Symbol: QUMI2
GROWTH FORM: rhizomatous shrub, tardily deciduous or evergreen, usually to 3 feet (0.9 m), forming thickets of unbranched stems. BARK: smooth, brown to light gray. TWIGS and BUDS: light gray, smooth twigs in second year; small globe shaped bud, dark brown to grayish-brown scales. LEAVES: very short petiole 1⁄8 - 1⁄4 inch (3 - 6 mm) long; obovate or oblanceolate leaf, 1 1⁄2 - 4 3⁄4 inches (38 - 121 mm) long, 3⁄4 - 2 inches (19 - 51 mm) wide, base cuneate, apex acute to rounded, margins flat or slightly wavy; glossy light to dark green above, light green with whitish bloom below.
Dwarf live oak is maintained to provide food and shelter for wildlife in habitats where fire is used as a tool to reduce competing vegetation in Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) and Slash pine (Pinus elliottii) management. This oak species can produce acorns at 3 years of age.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous , Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Oblanceolate , Obovate
Leaf Apex: Acute
Leaf Base: Cuneate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Leaves glossy light to dark green above, light green with whitish bloom below.
Fruit: Acorns annual; 1 - 3 acorns on peduncle 1⁄8 - 1 1⁄8 inches (3 - 29 mm) long, goblet- shaped cup with grayish scales, with or without minute pubescence, encloses up to 1⁄2 of nut; narrowly ￼oval, dark brown nut, 5⁄8 - 1 inch (16 - 25 mm) long.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , TX
Native Distribution: Louisiana east to Florida, and north to North Carolina.
Native Habitat: Pine and scrub forests on deep sandy soils.
BenefitUse Other: Dwarf live oak is maintained to provide food and shelter for wildlife in habitats where fire is used as a tool to reduce competing vegetation in longleaf and slash pine management.
Interesting Foliage: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 1134 - Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America (2003) Stein, John D. and Denise Binion
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Quercus minima in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Quercus minima in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Quercus minima
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-10
Research By: DEW