Quercus michauxii Nutt.

Swamp Chestnut Oak, Basket Oak

Family: Fagaceae

Genus: Quercus

Category: Tree - Deciduous

Zones: 5 to 8

Size: 60 to 80' tall and slightly less wide

Growth Rate: Moderate

Exposure: Sun


Rounded head, densely branched. Pale scaly bark. Coarsely toothed, bright green leaves. Likes moist soil.

From efloras.org Floras of North America Quercus michauxii is easily distinguished from other chestnut-leaved oaks by the felty hairs of the abaxial leaf surface and rather large acorn cups with attenuate-acute, loose scales.

The four species of the chestnut oak group in eastern North America (Quercus montana , Q. michauxii , Q. muhlenbergii, and Q. prinoides) are somewhat difficult to distinguish unless careful attention is paid to features of leaf vestiture and fruit and cup morphology. Attempts to identify these species mostly or solely on basis of leaf shape and dentition (as in many other oak species complexes) have resulted in a plethora of misidentified material in herbaria and erroneous reports in the literature. The closely appressed, asymmetric trichomes on the abaxial surface of the mature leaf, in combination with longer simple hairs along the midvein, are unique to Q. montana among North American species of Quercus. Immature leaves and densely shaded leaves sometimes exhibit a more erect trichome that could be confused with the longer, felty hairs of Q. michauxii, so it is important to evaluate mature sun leaves when possible.


Native to eastern and central US.

Cultivated since 1737.

Published in Gen. N. Amer. Pl. (Nuttall) 2: 215 in 1818.

Synonym Quercus prinus L. - Linnaeus referenced Catesby's Natural History Volume I Plate 18.

From Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project (referring to Q. prinus: [quote: This name has been applied to the two species more recently known as Q. montana Willd. and Q. michauxii Nutt., and Whittemore & Nixon (in Taxon 54: 213. 2005) therefore proposed Q. prinus for rejection. This was recommended by the Committee for Vascular Plants (in Taxon 56: 591. 2007).


Sources of Information

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