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Myrtle oak Quercus myrtifolia
Copyright by: George D. Gann
General Landscape Uses:
Accent tree in dry soils.
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Description: Small tree or large shrub with a broad-spreading round-topped crown. Trunks often twisted, to 8 inches in diameter. Bark dark gray to brown, generally smooth, and slightly furrowed near the base. Leaves shiny, about 1-2 inches long, the edges usually rolled downward.
Dimensions: Typically 15-30 feet in height in South Florida; to 36 feet in Florida. Can be as broad as tall.
Growth Rate: Slow.
Southeastern United States south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Soils: Moist to dry, well-drained sandy soils, with or without humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements: Low to moderate; it can grow in nutrient poor soils or soils with some organic content.
Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements: Full sun.
Flower Color: Green.
Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous. Pollination is by wind.
Flowering Season: Spring.
Fruit: Brown acorn. Edible.
Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for Horace's duskywing (Erynnis horatius), red-banded hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) and white-M hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) butterflies; possible larval host for Juvenal's duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis) and oak hairstreak (Fixsenia favonius) butterflies. The acorns are utilized by squirrels and the threatened Florida scrub jay.