Quercus durata Fagaceae
Leather Oak kwer-KUS du-RAH-ta
- Broadleaf evergreen shrub 3-10 ft (~1–3 m), forms a dense tangle of branches, rounded crown, twigs tomentose, sometimes becoming hairless (glabrous). Leaves alternate, simple, leathery, 1.5–3 cm long, oblong to elliptic, convex above, tip sharply pointed, margin entire, rolled under to spiny toothed, upper surface minutely pubescent, dull green, lower surface somewhat hairy, pale green; petiole several mm long. Fruit (acorn) matures in 1 year, cup about 15 mm wide and 6 mm deep, bowl-shaped, nut 15–25 mm, ovoid to cylindrical, tip blunt or rounded.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 8 Native to California, in chaparral, foothill woodlands; Coast Ranges, northern Sierra Nevada Foothills, San Francisco Bay Area, and San Gabriel Mountains. Separated into two varieties, Quercus durata var. durata [Leather Oak], limited to serpentine soils and Quercus durata var. gabrielensis [San Gabriel Mtns. Leather Oak], found on loose slopes in non-serpentine soils. Serpentine soils are low nutrient soils which contain high amounts of magnesium and low amounts of calcium.