Quercus nigra L.

Water Oak

Medium sized deciduous tree 15 m or more tall. Bark dark, developing into scaly ridges. Young shoots with reddish bark at first. Leaves mostly 5-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, widest at the tip with (0-)3(-5) lobes, tapering gradually to the base, smooth above but with hair tufts in vein axils below. Leaf stalks thick, flattened to about 12 mm long. Acorns 1-2 cm long with a broadly rounded tip, the cup which just covers the base of the acorn, has thin finely hairy scales.

Grows naturally in lowlands and along rivers on poor floodplain soils.

Acorns are used by the American Indians as food.

Leaves spoon-shaped, generally with 3, rarely 5, lobes at the tip, hairless except for prominent tufts in the vein axils below.

NSW: Sydney (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney). VIC: Ballarat (Martin Ave, 2 trees, Stawell St near creek); Bulleen (Heide Gardens and Sculpture Park); Moonee Ponds (Queens Park, 12 m tall in 1988, 50-60 years old at least); Hawthorn (Methodists Ladies College, edge of lawn opposite main entrance, medium size, 40-50 years old at least); Kew (street tree Raheen Dr., 21 m tall in 1982); Prahran (Victoria Gardens).


Q. phellos L. is occasionally grown; it has narrow willow-like leaves that are never lobed at the tip; specimens introduced in 1965 from the University of North Carolina Campus, may be seen in Linnaeus Way, Australian National University Campus, Canberra.

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Fagaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Fagales
family       Fagaceae
genus        Quercus L.