Quercus lyrata (Overcup Oak) Unity Grown
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Quercus lyrata, commonly referred to as overcup oak, is a short to medium, medium-growing oak which can grow to between 40-60' tall. Overcup oak is naturally found in swamps, low-lying forests, and floodplains across large parts of the US southeast. Quercus lyrata is a great choice for mitigation and wetland restoration projects, as it tolerates wet, poorly draining soil, occasional flooding, and part-shade conditions.
Overcup oak, like all oaks, produces acorns, and in fact draws its common name from the appearance of its large fruits, which have caps that cover almost the entire length of the nut; it may take up to 25-30 years for a young tree to begin producing acorns, but may to live to 400 years old. Acorns are also ecologically valuable as a food source to a number of species including squirrels, white-tailed deer, and a number of game birds including wild turkey and ducks.
In addition to acorn value, many Quercus species are regarded as important keystone plants for their support of larval butterflies and moths, and Quercus lyrata is no different, acting as a host to several species of hairstreak butterfly and duskywing moths, among others.