The Scarlet Oak is a common native deciduous tree found throughout Virginia. It is the official tree of the District of Columbia. The acorns are eaten by jays and woodpeckers, as well as squirrels and small mammals. The Scarlet Oak is the host plant for Juvenal's Duskywing, Horace's Duskywing, and a number of species of hairstreak butterflies. The autumn coloration makes it popular as an ornamental tree. The name is based on its bright scarlet coloration of the leaves in the autumn. The scientific species name coccinea is derived from a Latin word meaning "scarlet-colored". The name of the red dye called cochineal is derived from the same word. The dye is created from the dried bodies of female cochineal insects.
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