Oaks of the World

General data Classifications List of species Local names Back to
home page

  Quercus nigra
Author L. 1753
Synonyms aquatica (Lam.) Walt. 1788
hemisphaerica var. nana (Willd.) Sarg. 1895
microcarya Small 1901
nana Willd. 1805
nigra var. aquatica Lam. 1785
nigra f. microcarya (Small) Sarg. 1918
nigra var. tridentifera Sarg. 1918
nigra var. heterophylla (Ait.) Ashe
uliginosa Wangenh. 1787
Local names water oak ; possum oak ;
Range Southeastern USA; 0 to 450 m; introduced in Europe in 1724;
Growth habit reaches 25 m tall; trunk slender; rounded crown;
Leaves 4-13 x 2-5 cm; variable in shape (sometimes entire, sometimes 2-3 shallow lobes near apex, which is always wider than the base); base cuneate; rich green, hairless adaxially; some axillary tufts of hairs beneath; falling late winter; short hairless petiole (0.5 cm);
Flowers staminate catkins drooping, 5-8 cm long;
Fruits acorn globose 1-1.5 cm in diameter; singly or paired; blackish with paler streaks; enclosed 1/4 to 1/3 by cup; cup shallow, broad, pubescent, red brown; maturing in 2 years;

Bark, twigs and

bark dark grey, smooth becoming sulcate; twigs dark brown, smooth, glabrescent; buds brown, ovoid, tomentose;
Hardiness zone, habitat hardy; prefers moist, even wet, limefree soils; fast-growing; lives up to 150 years;
Miscellaneous -- A.Camus : n° 414;
-- Sub-genus Quercus, section Lobatae, subsection Phellos;
-- Related to
Q.marilandica ;
-- "nigra" after the blackish coulour of acorns and bark;
-- Numerous hybrids, among them : x
garlandensis E.J.Palmer with Q.falcata, x walteriana Ashe with Q.laevis, sterilis Trel. with Q.marilandica, x capesii W.Wolf with Q.phellos, x neopalmeri Sudw. with Q.shumardii, demarei Ashe with Q.velutina ;

Subspecies and
trees with trilobed leaves and oblique base have been named "var. tridentifera" by Sargent;