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A deciduous tree up to 70 or 80 ft high in the wild; young shoots and leaves covered with stellate scurf. Leaves obovate, three-lobed with a wedge-shaped base, or more ovate and five- or seven-lobed, 4 to 7 in. long, 31⁄2 to 5 in. wide, the terminal lobe mostly oblong, 2 to 31⁄2 in. long, the side ones shorter, triangular, or scythe-shaped – often furnished with a few bristle-teeth. The upper surface is dark glossy green, the lower one dull grey and more persistently downy; stalk 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. long, slender. Fruits very shortly stalked, acorns about 1⁄2 in. wide and long, the cup shallow or saucer-shaped.
Native of the eastern and south central United States; introduced in 1763, but extremely rare. According to Sargent, the two forms of leaves occur sometimes on the same tree, sometimes on separate trees.
specimens: Kew, pl. 1930, 70 × 51⁄4 ft (1979) (var. pagodifolia); Warnham Court, Sussex, Old Nursery, 72 × 41⁄4 ft (1984).
Q. pagoda Raf.
Q. rubra var. pagodifolia (Elliott) Ashe