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Lithocarpus densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Rehd.
Tan oak, Tan-oak
USDA Symbol: lide3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Tan-oak is a narrow, conical (broad-crowned if open-grown) tree, growing slowly to 80 ft. in the wild. Garden specimens are rarely over 30 ft. Evergreen tree with a great central trunk and crown varying from narrow and conical to broad and rounded; sometimes a shrub. The thick, leathery, oblong, sharply toothed leaves are gray-green on the upper surface, fuzzy-white below. This is an evergreen tree.
Tanoak is placed in a separate genus with more than 100 species native to southeast Asia and Indomalaysia. While the acorns resemble those of true oaks, the flowers are like those of chinkapins and chestnuts. Tanoak bark was once the main commercial western source of tannin. Indians ground flour from the large acorns after removing the shells and washing the seeds in hot water to remove the bitter taste.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
CA , OR Native Distribution:
Coast Ranges from Ventura to Del Norte Cos. & s. OR Native Habitat:
Wooded slopes below 4500 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist, sandy or gravelly soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
Indians ground flour from the large acorns after removing the shells and washing the seeds in hot water to remove the bitter taste.
Tan oak bark
was once the main commercial western source of tannin. Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationDescription: Sow acorns in peat or sand soon after harvest and provide protection against animals. Vegetative propagative is possible but the take is usually poor.
Seed Collection: Acorns ripen in the second autum. Collect then.
Seed Treatment: No treatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CA
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Record Modified: 2008-10-19
Research By: TWC Staff