12. Quercus laurifolia Michaux, no. 10, plate 17. 1801.
Swamp laurel oak
Quercus obtusa (Willdenow) Ashe; Q. rhombica Sargent
Trees , tardily deciduous, to 40 m. Bark dark brown to black, ridges flat, furrows deep. Twigs red-brown, (1-)1.5-2.5 mm diam., glabrous. Terminal buds dark red-brown, ovoid to subconic, 2.5-6 mm, distinctly 5-angled in cross section, glabrous or with tuft of reddish hairs at apex. Leaves: petiole 1.5-5 mm, glabrous. Leaf blade rhombic or broadly elliptic to obovate, occasionally oblong or spatulate, 30-120 × 15-45 mm, thin, base attenuate or cuneate, rarely obtuse, margins entire with 1 apical awn, apex obtuse or rounded; surfaces abaxially glabrous, adaxially glabrous, veins raised. Acorns biennial; cup shallowly saucer-shaped to deeply bowl-shaped, 3.5-9 mm high × 11-17 mm wide, covering 1/4-1/2 nut, outer surface puberulent, inner surface pubescent at least 1/2 distance to rim, scale tips appressed, acute or attenuate; nut globose or ovoid, 8.5-16 × 10-16 mm, glabrate, scar diam. 6.5-11.5 mm.
Flowering spring. Sandy flood plains and bottoms, riverbanks, and terraces, occasionally on poorly drained uplands; 0-150 m; Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tex., Va.
Quercus laurifolia apparently flowers two weeks earlier than sympatric Quercus hemisphaerica (W. H. Duncan and M. B. Duncan 1988). It reportedly hybridizes with Q . falcata , Q . incana , and Q . nigra (H. A. Fowells 1965); with Q . hemisphaerica , Q . marilandica , Q . myrtifolia , Q . phellos , and Q . shumardii (D. M. Hunt 1989); and with Q . velutina .