A deciduous tree 30 to 50 ft high; young shoots densely covered with yellowish-grey down, which on young plants persists until the end of the season. Leaves obovate in main outline, but deeply three- to five-lobed on each side, the lobes penetrating from half-way almost up to the midrib, and the larger middle lobes again lobed; the apex of the lobes may be either rounded or pointed; 3 to 5 in. long, 11⁄4 to 3 in. wide (in young vigorous plants larger), dark shining green and almost glabrous above, dull, pale, and persistently downy beneath; stalk 1⁄4 to 5⁄8 in. long. Fruits solitary or in pairs; acorn 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, broadly egg-shaped; the cup, which encloses the lower one-third, is covered with short, appressed, downy scales.
Native of the S.W. United States; introduced to Kew in 1912. Among other places it is wild in the Grand Canyon, Arizona. The dense soft down, especially of the shoots and undersurface of the leaves, is a marked character and the lustrous dark green of its leaves gives it a handsome appearance. It is one of the ‘white’ oaks of N. America.