Plant Guide > Trees > Oaks > Overcup Oak or Swamp Post Oak Tree

Overcup Oak or Swamp Post Oak Tree

Overcup Oak or Swamp Post Oak TreeOvercup Oak, Swamp Post Oak (Quercus lyrata, Walt.)Large tree, 70 to 100 feet high, with small pendulous branches forming a symmetrical round head. Bark grey or reddish, furrowed and shedding in thick plates. Wood dark brown, strong, heavy, hard, durable. Buds small, blunt pointed, hairy, brown. Leaves obovate, narrowed at base, 6 to 8 inches long, with 3 to 5 pairs of oblong or pointed lobes, with wide sinuses, especially the middle pair, bright green above, shining, with dense white down beneath. Acorns annual, short stalked; nut flattened and almost or entirely enclosed by the round, rough-scaled cup; 1 to 1 1/2 inches across. Preferred habitat, coast or river swamps. Distribution, Maryland to Florida; west to Missouri and Texas. Rare except in the Southwest. Uses: Rare in cultivation. Wood confused with white oak in the trade.

The distinguishing feature of this oak is its button-like acorns. The scaly cup quite swallows up the nut, as a rule. The grey of bark and leaf lining, the narrow, deeply cut leaves, and the strong, durable wood are all characteristics that show this tree's close kinship with the bur oak on one side and the post oak on the other. It grows to majestic proportions in watery ground and wears a luxuriant crown of shining foliage.