Quercu Garryana - Oregon White Oak

Quercu Garryana - Oregon White Oak

Image Credit: oregonstate.edu

Family: Fagaceae

Common names: Oregon white oak, garry oak

General bloom time: April - June

Identification: Deciduous tree up to 25m tall.  Bark is gray with deep furrows and scales.

Leaves: alternate, up to 12cm long.  Leaf blades are oblong and have deep round lobes.  Leaf blades are dark, shiny green on top with a lighter shade of green on the bottom with a leathery texture.

Flowers: Separate male and female flowers. Flowers are tiny, male flowers in catkins that hang down, female flowers single or in clusters.

Fruit: Acorn with a shallow cap, 2 to 3 cm long.  They are edible.

Habitat: Dry prairies or rocky areas at low elevations.  Intolerant of shade.

Ecology: A diverse bird community makes its home in Garry oak meadows, as well as numerous mammals and insects.

Image Credit: brewbooks

Fun Facts:

-       Acorns were historically eaten by people in the Puget Sound area after soaking to remove bitter tannins

-       Fires set up Native Americans encourage the habitat of the tree

-       Poison oak often grows below

Places to find in Portland: Tualatin Hills Nature Park, Tryon Creek State Park, Lewis and Clark State Park


Oregon State University. 2010. Oregon Flora Project Atlas. www.oregonflora.org/atlas.php(link is external).

Pojar, J. & A. MacKinnon. 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska. Vancouver B.C., Lone Pine Publishing.

2006. Quercus garryana. Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. University of Washington. http://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection.php