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Dwarf live oak
Quercus minima
Fagaceae
 

Copyright by: Steven W. Woodmansee

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A frequent but somewhat uncommon understory shrub in pine rocklands, mesic flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, sandhill and dry prairie.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts and occasionally by native plant nurseries.

Description: Small woody groundcover with branches usually to 3 feet or less and numerous underground stems. Leaves are 1-4 inches long.

Dimensions: Typically 6-18 inches in height; to about 3 feet in South Florida. Spreading and forming patches broader than tall.

Growth Rate: Slow.

Range: Southeastern United States south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pinelands.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, without humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Green.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous. Pollination is by wind.

Flowering Season: Early spring, before the emergence of new leaves.

Fruit: Pale brown acorn about 2/3" long. Edible.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides food and cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for red-banded hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) and white-M hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) butterflies; possible larval host for Horace's duskywing (Erynnis horatius), Juvenal's duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis) and oak hairstreak (Fixsenia favonius) butterflies. The acorns are utilized by squirrels.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: This miniature oak makes an excellent groundcover but has not received much attention in the native plant trade.


Copyright by: Steven W. Woodmansee

Copyright by: Steven W. Woodmansee

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton


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