Monographs Details: Quercus schofieldii
Authority: Hollick, Charles A. 1927. The Flora of the Saint Eugene Silts, Kootenay Valley, British Columbia. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 7: 389-428.
Description:Species Description - Leaf apparently obovate in shape, approximately 17 centimeters in length by 8.5 centimeters in maximum width; margin finely and remotely dentate above, undulate below; nervation simply pinnate; midrib slender; secondaries alternate, subparallel, slightly flexuous, subtending uniform angles of approximately 45° with the midrib, each of the upper ones terminating in one of the marginal dentitions, just below which, from the upper side of each secondary, a branch extends upward in a series of irregular angled loops to the distal end of the secondary next above; tertiary nervation fine, close, uniform, approximately at right angles to the supporting secondaries throughout, mostly flexed, bent, or forked and connected, forming a network of irregular quadrilateral areola.
This specimen represents an oak that is manifestly of a different type from any of the species that are in existence in the eastern part of North America; but it is somewhat suggestive of the type of leaves found on certain of the Mexican and Central American species, such as Quercus cyclobalanoides Trelease, Q. Galeottii Martens, Q. insignis Martens & Galeotti, and Q. oocarpa Liebmann; but none of these species has quite the fine denticulations that are characteristic of our leaves. For purposes of comparison, however, a leaf of Q. Galeottii is figured (PLATE 44, FIGURE 3), representing a specimen collected in Mexico.
A well-defined and unique fossil species that is strikingly similar to ours is Quercus nevadensis Lesquereux, from the Tertiary (Miocene) gravels of California. Our specimens are larger than are those figured by Lesquereux, and the secondary nerves appear to be somewhat more ascending, but, except for the difference in size, it would not be easy to differentiate between them. In any event it is evident that they both belong to a type of oak that was characteristic of the western part of the North American continent in late Tertiary and, possibly, Quaternary time, and that their most nearly related existing species are, apparently, certain of those that now live in that region, further to the south.
Incidentally, in this connection, the following comments on Q. nevadensis by Lesquereux (op. cit., p. 6) are of interest: "This species has not any marked relation with any [other] fossil one. By the nervation, and somewhat also by the form of the leaves, it is allied to Q. castanea Willd., of the present flora of North America, but still more to a section of Mexican Oaks, whose coriaceous leaves are bordered with short distant teeth: Q. Humboldti, Q. glaucescens Humb. and Bonpl., Q. spicata Kunth, etc."
The specific name is given in honor of Dr. S. J. Schofield, to whom we are indebted for the collection of the specimen.