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Quercus dumosa (Coastal sage scrub oak)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Quercus dumosa

Quercus dumosa Nutt.

Coastal Sage Scrub Oak, Nuttall's Scrub Oak

Fagaceae (Beech Family)


USDA Symbol: qudu

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

An evergreen shrub, sometimes tree-like, to 15 ft. with an equal spread. Stiff twigs form a dense habit and bear wavy, leathery leaves. The prickly foliage is green on top and dull on the underside.

This common and variable shrubby oak hybridizes with tree species found nearby. Some plants classed as trees may be hybrids with size inherited from the larger parent. The scientific name means "bushy" or "shrubby."


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Inflorescence: Catkin
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: Up to about 15 feet tall, often much shorter.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

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


Native Distribution: Sierra Nevada & Coast Ranges in CA
Native Habitat: Dry slopes below 5000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Easy to grow and drought tolerant. Grows 1-2 ft. per year.


Description: Oaks are most often propagated from seed. No pretreatment is necessary. Plant immediately – outdoors or in deep containers to accomodate long initial taproot. Many oaks require cold temperatures to initiate shoot development. Protect outdoor beds with
Seed Collection: Best quality acorns are picked or shaken from the tree. Collect when color has changed to brown. Best if sown immediately as acorns lose viability quickly in storage. Short-term storage in moist, shaded saw dust or sand. Acorns to be sown immediately can be soaked in hot water for 15 min. to prevent weevil infestation. Stored seed should be fumigated with methyl bromide.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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