White Oak (Quercus alba)


You should prepare a written report including all information listed below.  Please answer in a numbered list fashion rather than trying to incorporate all material into a single essay-type report.  In many cases, complete sentences are not necessary; however, for questions that ask you to discuss, please do so in complete sentences and well-organized paragraphs.  You should include figures to illustrate plant appearance, geographic distribution, etc., as appropriate. Please include a complete bibliography for each report.


Your written reports should address the following:

  • Currently accepted scientific name of  the plant, including the most recent approved authority
  • Synonyms for scientific name of this plant (if applicable)
  • Classification (Division, Class, Subclass, Order, Family)
  • Common or vernacular name(s)
  • Meaning or derivation of the scientific and/or common name (any info that you can find or infer from knowledge of other plant names and/or Latin syllables)
  • Growth form (herb, shrub, tree, etc.)
  • Complete description of the plant’s roots, stems, leaves, flowers (as appropriate) – Note: please put in “common” language or at least be sure that you understand all the technical terms that you use, as I may ask you about them and expect you to be able to prove that you didn’t just copy down a bunch of mumbo jumbo that makes no sense to you
  • Duration – annual, biennial, perennial (above and below ground); time of flowering (if applicable)
  • Number of species in the genus: total (worldwide), in the U.S., in VA
  • List other most similar species and/or genera that your plant resembles and discuss how to distinguish your plant from these other species/genera
  • Geographic distribution of the species
  • Habitats where found
  • Native or introduced species? If introduced, from where?
  • Discuss any other important and/or interesting information that you found about the plant or, in general, about its genus or family.  Examples of some possible points of interest:
    • Ecological adaptations to its habitat
    • Plant/plant or plant/animal interactions
    • Vegetative reproduction capabilities
    • Food for humans or wildlife – parts eaten?
    • Poisonous to humans or livestock
    • Medicinal uses
    • Cultivation as food crop, ornamental, etc.
    • Agricultural weed or exotic invasive in natural areas
    • Human uses of wood, fiber, wax, oil, etc.
    • Rare or endangered species
    • Disease problems or other management concerns

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