Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12: 444. 1860.
Trees, deciduous, to 35 m. Bark gray-brown to dark brown, shallowly fissured with scaly or light-colored flat ridges, inner bark pinkish. Twigs gray to light brown, (1.5-)2-3.5(-4.5) mm diam., glabrous. Terminal buds gray to grayish brown, ovoid or broadly ellipsoid, 4-8 mm, often noticeably 5-angled in cross section, glabrous. Leaves: petiole 20-60 mm, glabrous. Leaf blade broadly elliptic to obovate, 100-200 × 60-150 mm, base obtuse to truncate, occasionally acute, margins with 5-9 lobes and 15-50 awns, lobes oblong or distally expanded, apex acute; surfaces abaxially glabrous except for prominent axillary tufts of tomentum, adaxially glossy, glabrous, secondary veins raised on both surfaces. Acorns biennial; cup saucer-shaped to cup-shaped, 7-12 mm high × 15-30 mm wide, covering 1/4-1/3 nut, outer surface glabrous or puberulent, inner surface light-brown to red-brown, glabrous or with ring of pubescence around scar, scales often with pale margins, tips tightly appressed, obtuse or acute; nut ovoid to oblong, occasionally subglobose, 14-30 × 10-20 mm, glabrous, scar diam. 6.5-12 mm.
Phenology: Flowering spring.
Habitat: Mesic slopes and bottoms, stream banks and poorly drained uplands
Elevation: 0-500 m
Ont., Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mich., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.
Trees with shallow cups covering ca. one-fourth of the nut are treated as Quercus shumardii var. shumardii; those with more deeply rounded cups covering ca. one-third of the nut are treated as Q. shumardii var. schneckii (Britton) Sargent. Quercus shumardii var. stenocarpa Laughlin was described from several trees in Missouri and Illinois having ellipsoid acorns that were covered less than one-third their length by very small (5.5-7 mm high × 12.5-18 mm wide), shallow cups (K. Laughlin 1969).
Quercus shumardii reportedly hybridizes with Q. buckleyi, Q. falcata (= Q. ×joori Trelease), Q. hemisphaerica, Q. imbricaria (= Q. ×egglestoni Trelease), Q. laevis, Q. laurifolia, Q. marilandica, Q. nigra, Q. palustris (= Q. ×mutabilis E. J. Palmer & Steyermark), Q. phellos (= Q. ×moultonensis Ashe), Q. rubra, and Q. velutina (= Q. × discreta Laughlin).