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QUERCUS pacifica

Image of Quercus pacifica

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Fagaceae

Botanical Name

QUERCUS pacifica

Plant Common Name

Channel Island Scrub Oak, Island Scrub Oak

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A picturesque twisted plant that is sculpted by the ocean winds, island scrub oak is a rustic plant for mild seaside landscapes to attract wildlife with its acorns. This partially evergreen shrub to very small upright tree is native only (endemic) to the California Channel Islands of Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina and is of conservation concern. The scaly gray bark lines the small trunks and the twigs are reddish brown.

The coarse and leathery (not shiny) leaves are oval and dull green above and lighter green on the undersides with hairs. The round-tipped leaf blade may be flat or slightly undulating and has one to five pairs of irregular teeth. Male flowers appear in spring in pendent clusters (catkins) and shed their pollen to the wind. Female flowers are small and found at the bases of new leaves on twig tips. The light brown fruit (acorn) is small, tapered with a pointed tip, held by a turban-shaped cap. Foliage that drops turns yellow, usually from seasonal dryness or winter chill.

Grow island scrub oak in full sun to dappled shade in deep, fertile sand or loam soils that are on the acidic side. Do not overwater this oak but also do not needlessly expose it to hot, dry conditions. It is tolerant of wind and saltsprays. Use it as a container specimen on a patio or boardwalk in a mild, subtropical maritime climate or as a rockery shrub under the boughs of pine trees.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6'-15' / 1.8m - 4.6m

  • Width

    5'-10' / 1.5m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    California

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Red, Light Yellow, Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Yellow, Green, Yellow Green

  • Bark Color

    Sienna, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes