Description from Flora of China
Quercus bullata Seemen; Q. gilliana Rehder & E. H. Wilson; Q. ilex Linnaeus var. spinosa (David ex Franchet) Franchet; Q. semecarpifolia Smith var. spinosa (David ex Franchet) Schottky; Q. spinosa var. miyabei Hayata; Q. taiyunensis Ling; Q. tatakaensis Tomiya.
Trees 6-10(-20) m tall, evergreen. Young branchlets with yellowish brown stellate hairs, glabrescent. Petiole 1-3 mm; leaf blade obovate to elliptic, 2.5-7(-16) × 1.5-4 cm, rugose or smooth, with glandular simple and fascicled hairs when young, abaxially glabrescent but often some hairs remaining on base of midvein, adaxially glabrescent, base rounded to cordate, margin with spiniform teeth or entire, apex rounded to obtuse (sometimes acute to acuminate in Taiwan); midvein and secondary veins adaxially impressed; midvein flexuous; secondary veins 4-8 on each side of midvein; tertiary veins abaxially evident. Female inflorescences 1-3 cm. Cupule cupular, 4-9 × 7-15 mm, enclosing 1/4-1/2 of nut; bracts triangular to triangular-ovate, 1-1.5 mm, crowded, gray pubescent except for apex. Nut ovoid to ellipsoid, 1.2-2 × 0.7-1.3 cm; scar ca. 5 mm in diam.; stylopodium ca. 1 mm in diam. Fl. May-Aug, fr. Sep-Dec of following year.
Quercus tatakaensis Tomiya (Q. spinosa var. miyabei Hayata) has been named for plants from mountains of Taiwan with leaf blades 6.5-16 cm and leaf blade apices acute to acuminate. These plants grow in populations with typical Q. spinosa, and their status needs further study.
Montane forests; 900-3100 m. Fujian, Gansu, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan [Myanmar]