Quercus aquifolioides Rehder & E. H. Wilson var. rufescens (Franchet) Rehder & E. H. Wilson; Q. ilex Linnaeus var. rufescens Franchet; Q. pannosa Handel-Mazzetti; Q. pileata Hu & W. C. Cheng; Q. semecarpifolia Smith var. rufescens (Franchet) Schottky.
Shrubs or trees to 15 m tall, evergreen. Branchlets densely reddish to dark brown tomentose, glabrescent. Petiole (1-)2-4(-7) mm, brown tomentose; leaf blade oblong, elliptic, ovate, or obovate, 2-9 × 1.5-5 cm, abaxially with brown spongy glandular hairs and pale brown stellate hairs and not glabrescent, adaxially hairy along midvein, base rounded, margin entire or with spiniform teeth, apex obtuse to mucronate; secondary veins 5-12 on each side of midvein; tertiary veins often hidden by indumentum. Female inflorescences 2-6 cm. Cupule cuculliform to shallowly cupular, 0.6-1 × 1-3 cm, margin of rim expanded to wavily rugose at maturity, inside with a thick, pale grayish brown indumentum; bracts lanceolate to narrowly ovate, 1-2 mm, grayish brown tomentose from base to middle, apex reddish brown, obtuse, distinct from cupule wall, and glabrous. Nut ovoid to subglobose, 1.5-1.8 cm in diam., glabrous, apex obtuse; scar ca. 5 mm in diam., slightly raised; stylopodium ca. 2 mm in diam. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Sep-Nov of following year.
* Montane forests to subalpine scrub; 2500-4000 m. Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan