Deciduous tree to c. 30 m, narrow at top; young shoots glabrous, usually reddish-brown; buds to 7 mm, glabrous or ciliate-margined. Stipules deciduous around terminal bud or somewhat persistent. Leaves distributed over shoots, elliptic, obovate to oblong, 6-17 x 3-9 cm, cuneate or obliquely rounded, usually glabrous, with 5-9 shallow or deep lobes, ± regular, with or without secondary lobes; primary veins 5-11, ± parallel, intercalary veins absent or rarely 1-2 near leaf base; indumentum absent to adpressed stelIate-tomentose beneath with long simple hairs on veins, pale green or glaucous, glabrous and bright green above. Petiole 1-3.5 cm. Peduncle absent or almost so. Cupule 10-20 mm diam., hemispherical or cyathiform, greyish-brown to brown; scales ovate-lanceolate, strongly tuberculate at base or flat, adpressed or loosely so, with a brownish tip, tomentose; acorn 1/2-2/3 exserted.
1. Scales of cupule flat; adult leaves ± densely adpressed-hairy beneath, often with tufts of hairs in lower vein axils subsp. petraea
1. Scales of cupule tuberculate; adult leaves glabrous or ± finely pubescent beneath
2. Leaves ± glabrous beneath, ± shallowly lobed, to 12 em; intercalary veins usually present subsp. iberica
2. Leaves ± glabrous or pubescent beneath, ± glaucous and deeply lobed, to 17 cm; intercalary veins absent subsp. pinnatiloba