Evergreen shrub or rarely a small tree to 10m;young shoots densely stellate-tomentose, brownish; buds c. 3-4 mm, reddish-brown, ovoid, glabrous or tomentose. Leaves distributed over branches, broadly ovate to oblong-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, coriaceous, 1.5-5 x 1-3 cm, sharply serrate-spiny, rarely subentire, flat or undulate, cordate or rounded at base; veins 4-8; glabrous on both surfaces, rarely minutely stellate beneath, paler beneath; petiole 1-5 mm. Peduncle stout, subsessile to 12 mm. Fruit maturing in second year. Cupule hemispherical, broadly campanulate or cyathiform, 10-20 mm diam., to 15 mm long, light brown; scales oblong to ovate, adpressed-ascending or recurved, pubescent; acorn 1/2-2/3 exserted, variable in shape. Fr. 9. A dominant member of phrygana and macchie; in Pinus brutia forest, s.l.-1500 m.
Mediterranean area. Medit. element.