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Watts, May Theilgaard

Twelve Oaks

Pen and india ink on cream board, mounted on board. 
Digitization Status
69.3 cm W x 50.7 cm H (Item)
59 cm W x 46 cm H (Platemark or image size)
1 sheet
Date created
Illustration of leaf, acorn, and twigs with buds for twelve different types of oak, created to accompany "The Oaks Of The Morton Arboretum" article featured in Morton Arboretum Bulletin of Popular Information. Drawings are divided into two categories and depicted in columns with descriptive text.


Leaves, acorns, and twigs as depicted in two categories, from left to right, top to bottom:

Category 1: The Black Oak Group 
  • Eastern Red Oak - Quercus borealis
    • leaf - dull above, glabrous beneath, lobes narrowing toward margin, sinuses about half-way to mid-rib.
    • acorn - shallow cup, saucer-shaped, with glossy tight scales, white kernel
    • twig with buds - buds red brown, not angled; twigs red-brown, smooth
  • Northern Pin - Quercus ellipsoidalis
    • leaf - lustrous, deeply lobed, lobes widening toward margin, base truncate or broad-cunate, 5 to 7 lobed
    • acorn - top-shaped cup, enclosing half of nut, yellow kernel
    • twig with buds - buds red-brown, obtuse at tip; twigs red-brown
  • Black - Quercus velutina
    • leaf - leathery, thick, petioles yellow, sinuses varying from shallow to deep
    • acorn - bowl-like cup, scales form fringe at margin, yellow kernel
    • twig with bids - buds pale woolly, strongly 5-sided; twigs red-brown, lenticels conspicuous
  • Pin - Quercus palustris
    • leaf - thin, lustrous, 5 to 7 lobed, few-toothed, slender petioles, base cuneate
    • acorn - saucer-shaped cup, scales with free tips, nut often striped
    • twigs with buds - side buds at wide angle; twigs red-brown, smooth
  • Shingle - Quercus imbricaria
    • leaf - lustrous above, pubescent below, persistent in Winter
    • acorn - stalked cup, bowl-like, thin
    • twig with buds - buds brown smooth; twigs smooth, gray-brown
  • Willow - Quercus phellos
    • leaf - lustrous, nearly sessile, acute at both ends
    • acorn - talked cup, shallow, thin
    • twig with buds - buds brown; twigs fine
Category 2: The White Oak Group
  • White - Quercus alba
    • leaf - glabrous, with deep sinuses, often persistent in winter
    • acorn - bowl-like cup, with thickened warty scales, nut edible
    • twig with buds - buds red-brown, smooth; twigs red-brown, later ashy-gray; lenticels pale, conspicuous
  • Bur - Quercus macrocarpa
    • leaf - usually with "wasp-waist" - thick, smooth above, pale-pubescent beneath
    • acorn - cup fringed, covering half or more of nut, larger in South
    • twig with buds - buds pale-woolly, gray-tan; twigs gray, later corky-ridged
  • English - Quercus robur
    • leaf - auricled base, nearly sessile
    • acorn - cup enclosing 1/4 to 1/3 of nut, long-stemmed
    • twig with buds - buds, brown; side buds divergent; twigs brown
  • Chinquapin - Quercus muehlenbergii
    • leaf - thick, shiny above, pubescent beneath, somewhat sharply-toothed, rounded base, slender petiole
    • acorn - cup bowl-shaped, thin, scales indistinct
    • twig with buds - buds chestnut-brown; twigs orange-brown
  • Basket - Quercus michauxii
    • leaf - crenate margin, pale-pubescent beneath, cunate base, 10 to 14 pairs of teeth
    • acorn - cup bowl-shaped, thickened, scales wedge-shaped
    • twig with buds - buds chestnut-brown, twigs orange-brown
  • Swamp White - Quercus bicolor
    • leaf - thick, firm, coarsely-toothed, shining above, pale-fomentose beneath, 6 to 10 pairs of teeth, often persistent in winter
    • acorn - usually paired, cup bowl-shaped, slightly-fringed, long-stalked
    • twigs with buds - buds brown; twigs yellow-brown, with pale, raised lenticels
Appeared In
Morton Arboretum Bulletin Of Popular Information, November-December 1944, Vol. 19, no. 11-12, p. 46-47.
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