Oracle Ridge Trail 6/29/17
Wildflowers of Southern Arizona
Beech (Fagaceae) Family.
Plant: tree; to 10 m high, the bark dark blackish-gray; young twigs woolly, dark reddish-brown beneath hairs, becoming glabrous with age, the older twigs gray, more or less smooth. Leaves: unlobed, lanceolate to elliptic, 4-11 cm long, 0.8-3 cm wide, 3-5 times as long as wide, densely whitish woolly with stellate hairs beneath, glabrous or subglabrous above, persisting more than 1 year; stellate hairs of lower leaf surface with 10 or more arms; apex acute to acuminate, often mucronate; base acute to obtuse, sometimes oblique; petiole 3-11 mm long, woolly, later glabrescent; midvein raised above, prominent below; lateral veins ca. 9-15, impressed slightly above, prominent below; secondary venation impressed, often obscured by hairs below; blade coriaceous, dark green above, whitish (because of hairs) below; margin entire or less often serrate-dentate. INFLORESCENCE: staminate flowers in aments; pistillate flowers solitary or in groups on spikes, these sometimes abbreviated, each pistillate flower with a separate involucre. Flowers: mostly wind-pollinated, unisexual, the perianth much reduced or absent; staminate flowers in heads or aments, the perianth greenish, the stamens 4-6; pistillate flowers usually tricarpellate, solitary or in clusters of about 3 or more, subtended individually or in groups by an involucre that develops into a woody cupule enclosing or subtending the mature fruit(s). Fruit: ACORNS 1.5-2 cm long, maturing after second summer; cap ca. 8 mm long, ca. 12 mm wide, woolly within and without; scales not much thickened basally; nut-shell woolly within. Misc: In oak and conifer forests; 1100-2700 m (3600-9000 ft); Apr-Jun (young fruits present at any time, mature fruits Aug-Nov).
Santa Catalina Mountains
Location: 200 feet beyond trailhead parking lot.
Notes: Acorns on Oracle Ridge Trail near trailhead 6/29/17.
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