Quercus michauxii

Common name: Swamp Chestnut Oak, Basket Oak, Cow Oak
Family: Fagaceae (Beech)
Synonym: Quercus prinus
Distribution: C to E USA
Habitat: Coastal plain areas, bottomlands
Hardiness: -20 - 30 F
Life form: Deciduous tree
Fall color: Red, yellow
Foliage characteristics: Simple, alternate, obvate leaves have a wavy margine with 9-14 rounded teeth and are medium green with hairy, white undersides. Leaves are 8" long. Foliage is reminiscent of chestnuts.
Fruit characteristics: Acorns are 1-1.5" long with bowl shaped caps that cover a third of the fruit.
Bloom Time: March to May
Structure: Oval, round
Bloom characteristics: Male catkins are yellow
Bark characteristics: Light, grey to silver-grey.
Average height: 40-100 feet
Attracts: Birds; butterflies
Description: Swamp chestnut oak has chestnut-like foliage and is a major component of forests that used to be made up of both oaks and chestnut trees before chestnuts were almost wiped off the American landscape in the early 1900s. The swamp chestnut oak is currently seen as an excellent shade tree, but historically, it had greater use. In the 1800s in the cotton belt of the south, wood from this tree was very popular for flooring, baskets, wagons, and tool handles. Its acorns were also popular amongst people and wildlife, as they lack the tannins of other acorn species, and can be eaten without being boiled first
Links: Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant FamiliesLady Bird Johnson Wildflower CenterUSDA Natural Resources Conservation Service


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