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Chinkapin oak


Family:  Fagaceae, beech family
Genus, species:  Quercus muehlenbergii

Leaves are coarsely toothed with a wave-like pattern of lobes or teeth along edges. Leaves are wider at tip than at base.

Bark is thin, light gray with shallow fissures and scales

Male and female flowers are separate but on same tree (monoecious). Male flowers are yellow, arranged in hanging clusters. Female flowers are smaller, on short hairy spikes at base of leaves.

Acorns are 1 inch long, shiny brown, egg-shaped, rounded to a point at the tip.

Chinkapin oak mostly occurs on limestone outcrops, often with other oaks

More Information:

The common name "chinkapin oak" is an Algonquian word for the American chestnut, a tree with similar shaped leaves.  The genus name Quercus is from the Latin for "oak."  The species name muehlenbergii is named for Henri Ludwig Muhlenberg (1756-1817), a botanist from Pennsylvania.