San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature Connection[BRCC San Diego Natural History Museum: Research Library]
Plants that Attract Butterflies, A Gallery of Paintings by Albert Valentien

Quercus chrysolepis

Painting of Quercus chrysolepis, by Albert Valentien

Quercus chrysolepis
Painted by Albert Valentien © San Diego Natural History Museum

Quercus chrysolepis, Maul Oak or Canyon Live Oak, has the widest distribution of all California oaks. It is a rounded, spreading evergreen shrub or tree that grows up to 70 feet tall, with unusual specimens reported as tall as 100 ft. It is a long-lived species, with individuals estimated as old as 300 years. The leaves are a glossy green above and golden yellow or whitish underneath, with leaves and branches forming a dense canopy that may almost touch the ground. The acorns are robust and feature thick, corky caps. Canyon live oak woodlands provide important habitat and food sources for many species of birds and mammals. Steep rocky slopes, arroyos, dry washes, chaparral and mixed-evergreen forests are preferred habitats. California Sister butterflies use this and other Quercus species as host plants.

Introduction to Valentien Collection
Gallery of Plants
Monarca: A Gallery of Butterfly Plants

Text by Margaret Dykens