Trees , evergreen or tardily deciduous, to 35 m. Bark much like that of Q . laurifolia . Twigs light brown to dark red-brown, 1-2.5 mm diam., glabrous. Terminal buds reddish to purplish brown, ovoid, 2.5-5 mm, glabrous or with ciliate scale margins. Leaves: petiole 1-5(-6) mm, glabrous. Leaf blade narrowly ovate or elliptic to oblanceolate, 30-120 × 10-40 mm, leathery, base obtuse to rounded, rarely attenuate, margins entire or with a few shallow lobes or teeth near apex, awns 1-4 (rarely as many as 8-10 on 2d-flush growth), apex acute or acuminate, occasionally obtuse; surfaces abaxially glabrous, rarely with minute axillary tufts of tomentum, adaxially glabrous. Acorns biennial; cup saucer-shaped to bowl-shaped, rarely turbinate, 3-10 mm high × 11-18 mm wide, covering 1/4-1/3 nut, outer surface puberulent, inner surface pubescent at least 1/2 distance to rim, scales occasionally distinctly tuberculate, tips appressed, acute to obtuse; nut broadly ovoid to hemispheric, 9-16 × 9-16 mm, glabrate, scar diam. 6-9.5 mm. Flowering spring. Moderately dry sandy soils, scrub sandhills, stream banks, occasionally on hillsides and ravines; 0-150 m; Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tex., Va. Quercus hemisphaerica flowers about two weeks later than sympatric Q . laurifolia (W. H. Duncan and M. B. Duncan 1988). Most authors have treated Quercus hemisphaerica as synonymous with Q . laurifolia . M. L. Fernald (1946) carefully examined the situation and concluded that Q . hemisphaerica is a distinct entity, but C. H. Muller (1951) argued that these two taxa '...are now certainly not separable even as varieties of the same species.' Later (1970), Muller recanted by recognizing Q . hemisphaerica as a common component of stream terraces along the Gulf Coast.
Quercus hemisphaerica reportedly hybridizes with Q . falcata (C. H. Muller 1970); with Q . arkansana , Q . inopina , Q . marilandica , Q . myrtifolia , Q . nigra , Q . phellos , Q . pumila , and Q . shumardii (D. M. Hunt 1989); and with Q . incana (producing Q . × sublaurifolia Trelease), and Q . laevis (producing Q . × mellichampi Trelease).
Much like no. 16 [Quercus laurifolia Michx.]; twigs grayish; lvs bronzy-red and translucent when young, at maturity typically 3.5-5 נ1-2 cm, seldom larger, sharply acute (and often shortly bristle-pointed) at the tip, obtuse or merely acutish at the base, glabrous, evidently reticulate-veiny with the reticulum more prominent above, persistent and green throughout the winter and into early spring, sometimes some of them with a few teeth; petiole 1-2 mm. Well drained soil in uplands; coastal plain from se. Va. to Fla. and se. Tex.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.