Buckley, 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.
Flowering spring. Mesic slopes and bottoms, stream banks and poorly drained uplands; 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).