Shrubs , evergreen, low, to 0.75(-1.5) m, spreading rhizomatously in thickets, intricately branched. Bark gray, scaly. Twigs light brown, pruinose, becoming waxy-glaucous in 2d season, 1-1.5 mm diam., glabrous or sparsely and minutely stellate-pubescent. Buds minute, subrotund, 0.5-1 mm; scales reddish brown, glabrous except for ciliate margins. Leaves: petiole to 2 mm. Leaf blade subrotund or rotund, to 15 × 15 mm, thick, leathery, base cordate or auriculate, margins strongly crisped with 2-3 coarse, spinescent teeth on each side, cartilaginous-thickened secondary veins obscure, apex acute or obtuse, spine-tipped; surfaces abaxially blue-green, glaucous, glabrous, microscopically markedly papillose, adaxially blue-green, glaucous, glabrous, secondary veins slightly raised on both surfaces. Acorns solitary, subsessile or on axillary peduncle to 4 mm; cup shallow, saucer-shaped, 1-3 mm deep × 10-15 mm wide, enclosing base of nut only, margin irregularly undulate, scales closely appressed, minute, basally tuberculate-thickened, glabrous except for thin ciliate margins; nut ovoid, 10-20 × 8-12 mm, glabrous. Cotyledons distinct.