Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Quercus gambelii: the shape of things
Before they lose their chlorophyll, I wanted to look at several leaves from the scrub oak, side by side.
This morning I did that (with Blue's help).
Each is recognizable as an oak leaf.
And each is different from the others.
There are as many as 11 lobes and as few as 7.
Wishing for more words to describe what I'm seeing, more words to help me see better, I take at look at Flora of North America:
"Leaf blade elliptic to obovate or oblong, deeply to shallowly 4-6-lobed, (40-)80-120(-160) × (25-)40-60(-100) mm, membranous, base truncate to cuneate, margins entire or coarsely toothed, lobes oblong, rounded or subacute, sinuses acute or narrowly rounded at base, reaching more than 1/2 distance to midrib, secondary veins 4-6 on each side, each passing into lobe, branched, apex broadly rounded."
In other words, given the generous use of "or," quite varied.