Quercus geminata

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Sand Live Oak


Plant Specifics

Size:Height is largely a function of fire frequency, 20-30 ft tall if not burned.  Crown width about half the height.
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:NA
Phenology:Evergreen. Inconspicuous flowers in early spring. Acorns mature in autumn of same year.
Noted for:Interesting foliage, Hurricane wind resistance


Recommended Uses:Specimen tree, shade tree. Thicket in dry sandy areas.
Propagation:Seed, but readily available as a containerized sapling.
Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Short very dry periods ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Short very dry periods ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Sand
Soil pH:Adaptable



Valued by the Florida scrub-jay for its acorns which are relatively low in tanins and often used as a nesting tree.

Acorns used by woodpeckers and wild turkey

Valued by squirrels and other mammals including white tailed deer

Acorns are low in tannins making them a preferred nut by birds and other wildlife.


Larval host plant for oak hairstreak (Fixsenia favonius), Horace's duskywing (Erynnis horatius), red-banded hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) and white-M hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) butterflies.

possible larval host for Juvenal's duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis).

Native Habitats:Scrub, sandhill, scrubby flatwoods, flatwoods, coastal hammocks. Increases in flatwoods under winter burn management.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

Slower growing and generally smaller than live oak. Extremely drought tolerant.

In environments where there is fire, this is often a small clonal shrub or cluster of small trees.