from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several American evergreen oaks, such as Quercus virginiana of Mexico and the southeast United States or Q. agrifolia of California. Also called encina.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An evergreen species of oak characteristic of the US South, the southern live oak, Quercus virginiana
  • n. Any of several other species of oak with evergreen, usually holly-like leaves

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. a species of oak (Quercus virens), growing in the Southern States, of great durability, and highly esteemed for ship timber. In California the Quercus chrysolepis and some other species are also called live oaks.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An American oak, Quercus virens.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of several American evergreen oaks


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  • The southern live oak, Quercus virginiana, was also known as the "rocket tree".

    April 27, 2010

  • Citation on arroyo.

    August 26, 2008

  • 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.

    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.


    February 17, 2008