Shinnery Oak (Sand Oak; Tucker's Oak)
Quercus havardii var. tuckeri
Synonyms: (A Utah Flora - Quercus welshii). Other scientific names in other sources: Quercus undulata
Family: Fagaceae – Beech Family
Quercus is the only genus from this family represented at Arches National Park; Shrubs or small trees; clonal; deciduous; 2' to 6' tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; lobed or toothed; hairy on both sides (more hairy when young); 0.6” to 2.2” (1.5 to 5.5 cm) long, 0.36” to 1.32” (0.9 to 3.3 cm) wide
Flowers: Monoecious - female (pistillate) flowers and male (staminate) flowers on same plant; unisexual; borne in catkins or in peduncled head that hang downwards; flowers usually axillary on young shoots; female (pistillate) flowers have 0 petals; 4 to 8 lobed sepals; 1 pistil; stigma is 3 lobed; male (staminate) flowers have 0 petals; 4 to 7 lobed sepals; 3 to 12 stamens
Pollinators: other Quercus species are pollinated by wind
Fruits: acorn (1 seeded nut); ripens August/September
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May
Habitat in Arches National Park: usually in sand in desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: widespread, Visitor Center area, Windows, Fiery Furnace, Devils Garden
Other: The genus name, “Quercus”, is Latin for “oak" and the species name, "havardii", honors the French-born surgeon/naturalist Valery Havard (1846-1927) who traveled in the West identifying plants and describing plant communities. The type specimen was collected July 10, 1985 . The species name, “welshii”, is credited to R. A. Denham, who annotated all specimens at Brigham Young University with the epithet, “welshii” at specific rank. Stanley Larson Welsh is a Professor of Integrative Biology at Brigham Young University and one of the authors of A Utah Flora. The variety name, “tuckeri”, honors John Maurice Tucker (1916- ), Professor Emeritus of Botany, University of California, Davis.
Different oak species hybridize; often two species can be found on the same plant. Shinnery and Gambel's oak are types of white oak which have leaves with rounded lobes and some teeth and acorns which mature in 1 year. Live Oak is a type of red oak which has pointed lobes and acorns which mature in 2 years. Gambel's oak is poisonous to livestock because of the tannins. Oak galls are caused by wasps.
Did You Know?
The dirt is alive! A living crust called "Biological Soil Crust" covers much of Arches and the surrounding area. Composed of algae, lichens and bacteria, this crust provides a secure foundation for desert plants. Please stay on roads and trails to avoid trampling this important resource. More...