Leaves are evergreen, simple, alternate, lanceolate to narrowly elliptical, 2-5" long, folding upward along the main vein, boat keel like, about 1" wide, dark green upper surface and a golden lower surface.
Plants are monoecous, males at the ends of the catkins. Male flowers creamy white at the ends of the branches forming in middle summer, July here.
Fruit is a nut, enclosed in a spiny husk (cupule = cup-like structure like those surrounding the base of an acorn), very much like that of a chestnut. These are three-angled to round, but caught a nice triangular one,
Spins on the outer husk variously branched and very sharp. One distinction between this and a chestnut is that there are separations between each of the 3 nuts.
Here is the fruit on the left with a chestnut on the right.
Bark smooth when young, developing over time to become deeply furrowed.
Synonyms: Castanopsis chrysophylla
A chestnut due to the fruit, but the leaves look totally different.
5187 Empire Grade