Small trees and shrubs , to 2-3 m. Twigs rigid, divaricately branched at 65-90° angles, reddish brown, 1.5-3 mm diam., pubescent, sparsely so in 2d year. Terminal buds ovoid, 1-1.5 mm, apex rounded, glabrous. Leaves: petiole 2-5 mm, round in cross section, glabrous to sparsely fasciculate-pubescent. Leaf blade suborbiculate, elliptic to round-ovate, 20-30(-50) × 20-40 mm, crisped, leathery and brittle, base obtuse to strongly subcordate, secondary veins 5-8(-12) pairs, each terminating in spine, basal pairs recurving, others branching at 45° angles, raised abaxially, margins spinose-dentate to occasionally entire, with highly thickened cell walls, spines cartilaginous, (1-)1.5-2 mm, apex broadly rounded or subacute, spinose; surfaces abaxially glaucous with waxy layer, often obscured by golden brown glandular hairs, adaxially grayish dark green, scurfy with fasciculate erect and twisting hairs. Acorns solitary or rarely paired; cup turbinate to saucer-shaped, margins involute, often irregular, 7-10 mm deep × 10-25(-35) mm wide, scales appressed, embedded, often appearing laterally connate into concentric rings with only tip of scale visible, tuberculate, densely golden-tomentose throughout; nut oblong to fusiform, 20-30 × 10-15 mm, apex acute.