Definitions for quercus ilicifolia
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bear oak, Quercus ilicifolia(noun)
shrubby oak of southeastern United States usually forming dense thickets
Quercus ilicifolia, commonly known as Bear Oak or Scrub Oak, is a small shrubby oak native to the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. This oak is a deciduous tree or shrub growing up to 6 to 8 meters tall. It is "gangly" and can form a dense thicket. The plant grows from a large taproot which can be up to 20 centimeters thick. The taproot lives a long time, producing several generations of aboveground parts. The alternately arranged leaves are each up to 15 centimeters long by 10 wide. The species is monoecious, with plants bearing both male catkins and solitary or clustered female flowers. The egg-shaped acorn is 1 to 2 centimeters long with a saucer-shaped cap. The plant reproduces sexually by seed and vegetatively by sprouting new stems. This oak is a dominant plant species in a number of regions and habitat types. In Maine it can be found in deciduous forests alongside red maple, gray birch, and quaking aspen. In Massachusetts it codominates with black huckleberry on the shrublands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. At Cape Cod it occurs with pitch pine and broom crowberry. It can be found on the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and pine barrens habitat on Long Island. It also occurs in fire barrens on granite and gneiss further north in Canada. This oak is adapted to disturbance in the habitat, such as wildfire. Hence, it does not tolerate shade and it requires disturbance to clear remove other plant species so it can receive sunlight. It sprouts prolifically after fire burns away its aboveground parts.
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