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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Quercus grisea (Gray oak)
Mathews, Ray

Quercus grisea

Quercus grisea Liebm.

Gray Oak, Scrub Oak, Shin Oak

Fagaceae (Beech Family)


USDA Symbol: qugr3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Gray oaks are large shrubs or small trees reaching a maximum height of 30 ft. Deciduous, leathery, oval leaves are dull, blue-green, sometimes turning crimson in fall. Low clump-forming shrub or small tree, sometimes medium-sized, with grayish foliage.

Of greatest size in moist canyons, Gray Oak is most common as a shrub in New Mexico. It is easily seen in the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. It is closely related to Arizona White Oak (Quercus arizonica), a larger tree with larger leaves and sunken veins. Common and scientific names describe the color of the foliage.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Inflorescence: Catkin
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: Height to 50 ft., width to 40 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: AZ , CO , NM , TX
Native Distribution: Trans-Pecos TX w. to AZ, south to Puebla in central Mexico
Native Habitat: Rocky, igneous or dolomitic slopes & canyons

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Igneous, Limestone-based, Acid-based, Sandy, Dry, igneous soils.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX


Bibref 766 - Dale Groom's Texas Gardening Guide (2002) Groom, D.
Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2017-10-25
Research By: TWC Staff

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