Localize It!

By providing your zipcode, we can custom tailor your experience!

OwOak Woodland

Generally dominated by a variety of Oaks, these climax communities provide the greatest species richness of all vegetation types in the state. A dense canopy of broadleaves provides cover for grasslands, shrubs and other understory perennials. Gardening under established oak canopies requires plants that can tolerate dry shade.

Common Plants of the Oak Woodland

Dominant Trees Understory Shrubs, Perennials, Grasses & Annuals
Quercus agrifolia, Coast Live Oak

Arctostaphylos spp., Manzanita

Quercus douglasii, Blue Oak Cercis occidentalis, Western Redbud
Quercus engelmannii, Engelmann Oak Heteromeles arbutifolia, Toyon
Quercus lobata, Valley Oak

Symphoricarpos mollis, Creeping Snowberry

Quercus wislizeni, Interior Live Oak Montia perifoliata, Miner's Lettuce
  Toxicodendron diversilobum, Poison Oak
Secondary Trees Rhamnus californica, Coffeeberry
Juglans californica, California Walnut Rubus ursinus, California Blackberry
Lithocarpus densiflorus, Tanbark Oak Ribes spp., Currants
Acer negundo, Box Elder Adenostoma fasculatum, Chamise
Arbutus menziesii, Madrone Polypodium californicum, California Polypody
Quercus kelloggii, Black Oak Prunus illicifolia, Hollyleaf Cherry

Note: The above lists note some species found in oak woodland communities locatated throughout the state. A combination of these plants, not necessarily all, will constitute the dominant plant material in this specific plant community. This information is intended to be a primer on the plant communites in California.  View this article for information on references and further reading.  


Designates plant occurs in Riparian area.

Plant Communitiy Photos

  • img3390web.jpg