Quercus agrifolia Fagaceae
Coast Live Oak KWER-kus ag-ri-FOL-ia
- Evergreen tree, to 30-80 ft (9-24 m) tall, often with a greater spread, broadly rounded form, dense foliage, short trunk, may have a shruby form in chaparral habitat. Bark dark gray or brown, thick, deeply furrowed. Leaves simple, alternate, oblong to oval, 2-6 cm long and 1.2-4 cm wide, thick, leathery, rounded or heart-shaped at base, tip rouneded, margins turned under and bearing spiny teeth (holly-like), glossy green above, below pale green and often hairy. Fruit (acorn), nut is brown, narrowly egg-shaped, 2.5-4 cm long, about a fourth enclosed by a thin cup.
- Sun or shade. Drops most of its old leaves in spring. Sometimes sheared to form a 10 ft hedge.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 8 Native mostly to the coast side of California's Coast Range, and along streams draining into the Central Valley, ranges from the Mendocino County in the north to Mexico's Baja California.