Quercus wislizenii

interior live oak

Habit: a large slow-growing evergreen shrub or tree which can be found in dense groves or evenly spaced individuals. The tree form may grow to 75 ft (22 m).  Quercus wislizenii has smooth greenish-red bark and twigs when young, as it ages, the bark turns gray and becomes checkered. The plant’s elaborate architecture forms a dense full crown with branches of glossy, thick leathery leaves. The leaves are dark green above and lighter below with toothed margins and an acute tip. Foliage often reaches the ground. Flowers are catkins, followed by acorns ripening after two years and becoming at least twice as long as wide.

Ecology: native to the state of California, forms thickets in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and in chaparral woodlands in the Coast Range between 980-6500 ft (300-2000 m).

Growing Conditions: full sun in dry well-drained soil, depending on its location, interior live may require more water

Interior live oak is a great food source, nesting site, and hiding place for wildlife year round.


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Type: Evergreen Shrub
Height: 6-20 ft (2-6m)
Width: 6-20 ft (2-6m)
USDA Zones: 6-10
Map courtesy of USDA-NRCS Plants Database.