A medium-sized evergreen tree; branchlets densely downy; buds very small. Leaves leathery, oblong-elliptic, broadest slightly below the middle, obtuse to subacute and usually mucronate at the apex, rounded to slightly cordate at the base, 2 to 31⁄2 in. long, rarely over 1 in. wide, glabrous above when mature, clad beneath with a close tomentum which only gradually wears away, margins entire or slightly undulated; petiole up to 1⁄4 in. long. Fruits ripening in the second year, solitary or in pairs, on short stalks; acorn ovoid, enclosed in its lower half by a top-shaped cup 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. wide, with appressed, ovate, slightly downy scales.
Native of Mexico; introduced by Hartweg in 1839 for the Horticultural Society. Although now scarcely known in cultivation, this seems to be one of the hardier of the Mexican oaks. A tree at Carclew in Cornwall, possibly from the original introduction, measured 64 × 51⁄4 ft in 1908 and was still alive in 1933. Trelease, the American authority on the oaks, thought that the Carclew tree was Q. mexicana Humb. & Bonpl., but this species and Q. crassipes are very closely allied and distinguishable only by their fruits, which were not borne by the Carclew tree.