Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Scrub Oak, Florida Scrub Oak, Sandhill Oak
Quercus inopina

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Quercus (KWER-kus) (Info)
Species: inopina (in-oh-PYE-nuh) (Info)

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Click thumbnail
to view:

By MotherNature4
Thumbnail #1 of Quercus inopina by MotherNature4


2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive concretephil On Jul 19, 2010, concretephil from Osprey, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

The two other posters have missed at least two points about the Florida Scrub Oak.
Florida Scrub is not just limited to the Central Highlands of Florida, it also exists along the Gulf Coast, and the Florida Scrub Jay, a threatened species, absolutly depends on scrub. The scrub oak is the primary food source for the bird. The bird collects the nuts and makes several underground deposits with up to 200 nuts in each one.
The Florida scrub is highly dependent on fire to burn down all of the understory that competes with the scrub oaks and other low growing plants, such a Palmetto Palms (serenoa rupens). The Scrub Oak is one of the first plants to re-sprout after a fire and is able to re-establish it dominance in the understory. Fire also burns out the taller plants that hide the existance of snakes that preditate the Scrub Jays nest and eggs.
One of the dense population of the Scrub Jay is located in Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey Fl, located between Sarasota and Venice Fl.
There is a Scrub Jay study project, run complete by volunteers at this park. This is a beatiful park and one of the last protected scrubland areas located in Florida-Well worth the Visit.

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Dec 26, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Scrub Oak, Florida Scrub Oak or Sandhill Oak (Quercus inopina) is native and endemic to the dry scrub, sandhills and dry Florida Scrub habitats and other dry, sandy habitats such as open palmetto and oak scrub from north-central Florida (zone 8b) southward to just north of Lake Okeechobee in Martin, Saint Lucie, Highlands, Polk, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties (zone 9b) as well as throughout the central ridges of Florida, up through the central part of the state to north-central Florida (zone 8b). It is a small, shrubby oak with long, thin upturned leaves (which helps plants such as this species conserve water and survive in the dry sandy areas, sandhills, and dry Florida Scrub habitats they inhabit). It is usually a short to medium (occasionally it is a tall shrub or small tree, although not very often) shrub and is endemic to the state of Florida, in the dry sandhills, oak scrub, and dry sandy Florida scrub habitats from north-central Florida south through the central half of the state south to zone 9b. It is great native plant to provide shelter for wildlife and plays a useful role in the Florida Scrub ecosystem. It is very drought-tolerant. A great thumbs-up xeriscaping choice for a dry or sandy native plant garden that provides shelter for wildlife and is drought-tolerant!

MORE FACTS - Usually found as a short to medium shrub. Has thin, upcurved leaves to help it survive in it's native habitat, the Florida Scrub. Provides shelter for wildlife such as skinks, lizards, snakes, birds and other wildlife. The leaves are green to reddish-brown. Good for dry, sandy habitats or areas similar to scrub or for a drought-tolerant, wildlife-benefiting native plant garden. Found from zone 8b (north-central Florida sandhills and Florida Scrub) southward through the central half and ridges and sandy areas (Florida Scrub) to zone 9b. Plays an important role in the fire-dependant landscape of the dry Florida Scrub and sandhills for wildlife. Many of these habitats and it's inhabitants, both plants and animals such as this one as well as many endangered and threatened species endemic to these habitats that are found nowhere else in the world or the U.S., however, are threatened by encroaching human development, sadly.

Neutral TREEHUGR On Dec 24, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Scrubby and shrubby. Evergreen oak is very common and native in my area. Narrow leaves, small acorns. Would make a nice privacy screen I suppose.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Daytona Beach, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Osprey, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida

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