Running live oak

Quercus virginiana Mill.

Fagaceae (Beech family)


One of a group of live oak varieties in the Beech family, running live oak is characterized by short, scrubby growth and is a geographic variation. These trees often form large, dense thickets.

There are several subspecies of this tree, including var. maritime, which is commonly known as bay live oak and is common to sandy soils near the coast. Another subspecies, var. fusiformis, may occur as a shrubby variety in the Edwards Plateau region of Texas.

The bark may be dark brown to gray, depending on the subspecies. The leaves are simple and are located alternately along the stem. The leaves are evergreen and persistent (remaining attached ro the stem through the winter).

The forage value of running live oak is fair for goats and wildlife.


In Texas, this tree grows in sandy to shallow soils from the Rio Grande Plains through the Edwards Plateau.