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Evergreen, Trees

Genus of oaklike trees and shrubs, mostly from East and Southeast Asia but with one species from the western U.S. Grown primarily for their attractive foliage. They provide a stately presence in garden or open woodland settings. Provide well-drained soil.

Lithocarpus densiflorus
Lithocarpus densiflorus

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Lithocarpus densiflorus

Native to Coast Ranges from Southern Oregon to Santa Barbara, California. To 40–80 ft. tall, 30–50 ft.wide. Tree reaches taller end of height range under forest conditions; in the open, it is lower growing and broader, with the lower branches sometimes touching the ground. Leathery, 1 1/2– to 4-in.-long, sharply toothed leaves are covered with whitish or yellowish wool when they expand, then mature to smooth green above, gray green beneath. Tiny, whitish male flowers in large, branched clusters bloom in summer, giving off an odd odor that some people find offensive. Acorns in bur-like cups. As street or lawn tree, it resembles holly oak (Quercus ilex) but has lusher foliage.

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