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Quercus prinoides (Dwarf chinkapin oak)
Makin, Julie

Quercus prinoides

Quercus prinoides Willd.

Dwarf Chinkapin Oak, Scrub Chestnut Oak

Fagaceae (Beech Family)

Synonym(s): Quercus prinoides var. rufescens


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

GROWTH FORM: rhizomatous shrub or a small tree to 25 feet (7.6 m). BARK: thin gray bark with furrows and scaly ridges. TWIGS and BUDS: grayish twigs, broadly rounded bud brown to chestnut-brown with a blunt apex, scales have some pubescence. LEAVES: shortpetiole 1/4 - 5/8 inch (6 - 16 mm); leathery leaves are obovate, 1 1/2 - 5 1/2 inches (38 - 140 mm), 3/4 - 2 1/2 inches (19 - 63 mm), margin undulate or toothed with 3 - 8 pair of short rounded teeth, base cuneate, apex rounded; shiny dark green above, light green below with slight pubescence. ACORNS: annual; 1 - 2 acorns on peduncle up to 3/8 inch (10 mm), thin cup with short gray pubescent scales, covering up to 1/3 of nut; oblong to oval light brown nut, up to 3/4 inch (19 mm) long.

Dwarf Chinkapin oak can produce acorns at 3 - 5 years. The largest known dwarf chinkapin oak is growing in Richardson County, Nebraska.


From the Image Gallery

10 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Inflorescence: Catkin
Fruit Type: Nut
Autumn Foliage: yes

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , ON , QC
Native Distribution: New Hampshire and Florida, westward to Iowa and Oklahoma.
Native Habitat: Dry rocky soils such as sandstone or shale outcrops associated with oak pine types.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sand

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1134 - Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America (2003) Stein, John D. and Denise Binion

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Quercus prinoides in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Quercus prinoides in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Quercus prinoides


Record Modified: 2014-03-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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