Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Trees, Shrub-like Trees, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun
Water Use: low
Soil Moisture: dry
Soil Description: acid, poor, sand, gravel/rock
Bloom Time: May, June
Bloom Color: yellow, red, green
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 5, 6
Additional Tags: attracts birds, colonizing, drought tolerant, fall interest, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, showy fruit
Pricing & Availability
Quercus ilicifoliaAlso known as:
Quercus ilicifolia is a deciduous shrub, sometimes a small tree up to 20' tall. It tends to form dense thickets, but will have a neat, well-rounded crown when grown as a specimen. The trunks are robust and contorted. The specific epithet "ilicifolia" is in reference to the leaves that resemble those of some hollies. Their top surface is dark green and glossy, while their underside is velvety, ashen and gray-green. Young stems are also densely hairy. Male flowers are in the form of catkins, while female flowers are tiny, inconspicuous spikes that emerge from the leaf axils. The acorns are egg-shaped and up to 3/4 of an inch long. The foliage puts on a showy fall display, turning shades of orange, red and purple.
Bear oak is very shade intolerant. It thrives in poor, dry, sandy or rocky soil. It is slow growing, and non aggressive, forming thickets by seed dispersal rather than vegetatively. Its tap root makes it drought resistant. Blooms May and June. It has a small native range. Zones 5-6
Propagate from seed.
The acorns are very bitter, and consumed almost exclusively by bears, hence the common name "bear oak".
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: VT
|Species||Quercus ilicifolia||bear oak|