Wavyleaf Oak

Quercus undulata

Family: Fagaceae or Beech

Leaves: Dark blue-green above, dull green beneath; hairy above and beneath, less hairy with age; simple; alternate; oblong to elliptical, margins undulate and lobed to toothed; 3/4" to 2-1/2" in length, 1/3" to 1-1/3" in width; an evergreen to deciduous broadleaf (retains its leaves for more than one year).

Twigs/buds: Twigs green when young, nearly covered with tan-colored hairs; turning brownish when older. Buds small, scaly, hairy.

Flowers/fruit: Monoecious; flowers in catkins; 4-8 sepals and no petals; pollinated by wind, blooming in April to May. Fruit a small acorn, 1/3 covered by scaly cup; 1 seed per nut; ripe in late summer (August to September).

Bark: Gray, rough.

Wood: Little information available.

General: Native to southern Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, and northern Mexico. Its native habitat is rocky slopes and mesas. A small, shrubby evergreen or sometimes deciduous broadleaf (i.e. it retains leaves for more than one year). Called Quercus havardii or shinnery oak by Welsh et al. and is probably a hybrid of Q. gambelii and Q. turbinella.

Landscape Use: Wavyleaf oak (called Quercus havardii or shinnery oak by Welsh et al.) is another small, shrubby, evergreen oak native to southern Utah that has slightly crinkled or wavy leaves. Zones 7-9.

Comments and Limitations:

  • Fruit and/or plant part can be a nuisance; use fruitless varieties if possible.
  • Evergreen broadleaf (retains its leaves for more than one year.