Quercus agrifolia Née


Common name: Coast Live Oak.

Family: Fagaceae.

Flowering time: Early spring.

Fruiting time: Summer to fall.

Habitat: Found on deep, well-drained soils below 5,000 feet often in riparian areas. It grows in woodland and chaparral communities and is most prevalent on the coastal side of the mountains.

Range: Coast Live Oak is found from Mendocino County south to Baja California.

Ecology: This oak is shade tolerant and resistant to fire due to its thick bark and ability to re-sprout vigorously after a fire. It is a long-lived, slow growing species and its populations have been greatly affected by a fungus (Phytophthora ramorum) that invades its bark. Coast Live Oak woodlands provide food and habitat for over thirty species of birds, numerous small and large mammals. The tree is a nectar source and larval host for many species of butterflies and moths.

Ethnobotanical information: Many tribes ground acorns into a fine meal and used it to make bread, cakes and other food items as acorns were a staple food source. Cahuilla Indians considered acorn meat to be a delicacy and it was used at social events and ceremonies. Cahuilla, Kashaya, and Pomo Indians usually cooked acorns into a porridge-like mush, but sometimes also made flour for pancakes and bread. Cahuilla Indians also used un-husked, dried acorns for necklaces.


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