Oak, Live

Oak, LiveOak, Live — Live Oak or evergreen oak is a general term for a number of unrelated oaks in several different sections of the genus Quercus that happen to share the character of evergreen foliage.

The name live oak comes from the fact that evergreen oaks are still green and “live” in winter, when other oaks are dormant, leafless and “dead”-looking. The name is used mainly in North America, where evergreen oaks are widespread in warmer areas, along the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Florida, west along the Gulf Coast to Texas and across the southwest to California and southwest Oregon.

Evergreen oak species are also common in the warmer parts of Europe and Asia, and are included in this list for the sake of completeness. These species, although not having “live” in their common names in their countries of origin, are colloquially called live oaks when cultivated in North America.

When the term live oak is used in a specific rather than general sense, it most commonly refers to the Southern live oak (the first species so named), but can often refer to other species regionally.

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