A deciduous tree up to 30 or 45 ft high, of elegant habit; young shoots with silky, appressed, and forward-pointing hairs. Leaves obovate or narrowly oval, 2 to 7 in. long, 1 to 21⁄2 in. wide, tapered at both ends, with six to twelve incurved, gland-tipped teeth at each side, and eight to fourteen pairs of parallel veins running out to the apex of the teeth; dark green above, greyish beneath, both surfaces white with appressed silvery hairs when quite young, much of which falls away from the upper one; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Fruits small, solitary, or several on a short stalk; cup shallow.
Native of Japan, Korea, and China. It was introduced from Japan in 1893 by Prof. Sargent of the Arnold Arboretum, USA, and there are three fine specimens at Kew in the Oak collection by the Thames, raised from the seeds he sent. They measure 64 × 6 ft, 62 × 51⁄2 ft, and 54 × 41⁄2 ft (1972). It was reintroduced from China by Wilson in 1909, under W.1294, collected in woodland near Mupin in W. Szechwan. A tree at Kew from this sending is 54 × 41⁄4 ft (1972). Judging from these trees, Q. glandulifera is one of the most ornamental of hardy oaks. The elegantly shaped leaves are often very narrow in proportion to their length; on one tree at Kew they are not much over 11⁄2 in. wide. No other specimen has been recorded in the British Isles apart from one in the National Botanic Garden, Glasnevin, Eire, measuring 36 × 3 ft (1966).