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The Flora of Mount Shasta

Tan Oak

Beech Family (Fagaceae) Lithocarpus densiflora ssp echinoides
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Tan Oak acorn and leaves &169: 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty Tan Oak &169: 2001 Ken and Leona Beatty

Growth form: Evergreen shrub 1 to 10 feet tall, numerous branches

Flower: Unisexual, no petals. Male flowers are numerous in a 2" to 4" catkins. Females flowers are solitary in the axils of bracts at the base of some of the male catkins.

Blooms: June to August

Leaves: Simple, alternate, oblong, leathery, grayish pubescence on underside, margins generally smooth.

Fruit: Acorn with a bur-like involucre cup; mature in the autumn of the second year.

Stem: Greyish-brown

Found: Mid-to upper mixed forests of the Klamath, southern Cascade, and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.

Tidbits: One of the most highly prized acorns of the Native Americans of the region. Birds and rodents also feed on the acorns.


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