Mittwoch, 22. Juni 2011

Plant of the Day (June 22nd, 2011) - Quercus palustris Muenchh.

Quercus palustris Münchh. is an species from the Fagaceae family. In English, this plant is known as “Spanish Swamp Oak” and in German as “Sumpfeiche”.
Q. palustris - Habitus

Like all oaks, Q. palustris is a tree, which can reach heights between 4 and 25 metres (or 13 and 82 feet). The leaves are lobed deeply. They are dark green and have a long, bald stalk, which is between 20 and 60 centimetres long. The leaves follow the alternate leaf-pattern. The bark is grey, thin and with vertical furrows.

Q. palustris - leaf

The plant is monoicous, that means, it has male and female flowers. Male flowers are located in catkin inflorescences. Female flowers are also located in catkins. They have a red stylus. The ripe fruit is a nut (acorn), which is hold by a hairy cupule.

Q. palustris - foliage

Q. palustris is native to the East of North America and can been found from Connecticut to Kansas (east → west) and Ontario to Georgia (North → South). This species prefers dry to fresh soils and grow for example in river valleys or floodplain. Despite it's name, Q. palustris is not a swamp plant. It can grow on places, which are flooded sometimes, but doesn't tolerate permanent wetness. In Europe, this plant is planted as tree in parks or lake sides sometimes. I found this individual at the shore of Lake Uemmingen in Bochum, Western Germany.

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