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Scrub oak usually occurs in shrub form from one to three meters in height. This evergreen species has leaves 1.5 to 3.0 cm long with a petiole of two to four mm; leaf blades are oblong, elliptic, or roundish, with margins somewhat spiny to toothed; these marginal teeth are abruptly pointed. Leaf upper surfaces are generally flat to wavy, and exhibit a shiny, green appearance; lower leaf surfaces are appressed-puberulent, dull, pale green. Acorn cup is 12 to 20 mm wide and five to ten mm deep, hemispheric to bowl-shaped, with thick scales that are clearly tubercled; ovoid nuts are one to one to three cm in characteristic size.