Quercus lobata

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Quercus lobata
Quercus lobata
Quercus lobata acorns

Species Name: Quercus lobata
Common Name: Valley Oak or Roble

Said to be America's largest oak. Beautiful lobed leaves emerge bright green in spring; good fall color too. Prefers deep, rich soil and takes more water than other native oaks. It is a larval food plant for the Mournful Duskywing butterfly.

Plant Family: Fagaceae
Plant Type: Tree
Height by Width: 30-90' H x 30' W
Growth Habit: Broad-crowned, stout
Deciduous/Evergreen: Winter deciduous
Growth Rate: Moderate
Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Infrequent to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 5500'
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color: Yellow
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: Central Valley and surrounding foothills, Coast Ranges to Los Angeles County
Natural Habitat: Rich loam in valleys and in foothills, savannahs

Songbird iconA.jpg Butterfly iconA.jpg Slope iconA.jpg

Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "Large deciduous tree of graceful habit with open head and often drooping branches. Rough brown bark; leaves deeply divided into 3 to 5 paris of lobes, green above, paler beneath. Foun in rich valleys and foothills. The largest of all the American oaks. Gallon cans, 50c; 5 gallon cans, $1.75. Bare roots December to March 3 to 4 feet, $1.50. Large boxed specimens, $75.00 to $150.00."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.