overcup oak
Quercus lyrata Walter
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: swamp white oak
  • LEAVES: alternate, simple, deciduous, blades with 5-9 lobes, often asymmetrically lobed, upper pair of lobes more pronounced and often at right angles to midrib (somewhat resembling post oak); bases attenuate; blades dark green and glabrous above, pale to glaucous and sometimes pubescent below
  • FLOWER: monoecious; staminate inflorescence a catkin 3-4” long, slender, hairy, yellow; pistillate flowers mostly solitary, inconspicuous; flowering in spring
  • FRUIT: acorn maturing in one season, ovoid to subglobose, ca. 1” broad, apices broadly rounded; caps scaly, enclosing almost the entire acorn
  • TWIGS: winter buds 1/8”, rounded, with pubescent scales
  • BARK: gray, rough, thick plates underlying scales
  • FORM: medium to large tree of the white oak group
  • HABITAT: bottomlands, poorly-drained clays, subject to prolonged flooding, river and stream banks
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Obligate Wetland (OBL): Almost always occurs in wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: southeast US coastal plains  [USGS Range MAP], [MAP]
  • USES: ornamental, of low commercial timber value, rough lumber; planted for bottomland restoration
  • WILDLIFE: low whitetail deer browse value; high mast value for ducks, squirrels, and deer
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. acorn cap covers most (often > 75%) of the acorn
    2. scaly, gray bark
    3. occurs on sites subject to prolonged flooding (wettest sited oak in our region)
    Compared to white oak, overcup oak:
    • has less-evenly lobed leaves
    • has overcup acorns
    • has less scaly bark
    • is found on wetter sites