Tree, 15 - 30 m tall, trunk 0.66 - 1 m in diameter. Form oval and open. Bark reddish brown and peeling when young, becoming grayish brown and deeply fissured with flattened ridges. Twigs changing from shiny green and reddish brown to peeling and dark brown. Buds light to dark brown, 2 - 4 mm long, egg-shaped to almost spherical with a rounded tip. Each terminal bud is surrounded by a cluster of lateral buds. Leaves alternate, short-stalked, shiny dark green above, pale green to silvery white and hairy beneath, 12 - 18 cm long, 5 - 12 cm wide, inversely egg-shaped with a wedge-shaped base, coarsely round-toothed or shallowly lobed. Foliage turns yellowish brown to orange in fall. Flowers either male or female, found on the same plant (monoecious). Male flowers are borne in hanging catkins, yellowish green, and 7 - 10 cm long, while female flowers are borne in small clusters near leaf axils. Fruit an acorn, developing in one season, usually in pairs, sometimes solitary, with a 2.5 - 10 cm long stalk. The bowl-shaped cup covers one-quarter to half of the nut and has scales that are thicker near the base with a lightly fringed margin. Nut light brown, 2 - 3 cm long and oblong to almost cylindrical.
[adapted from vPlants.org]
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