Shrubs , rhizomatous-spreading, 0.2-1(-2.5) m. Bark gray or brown, thin, smooth. Twigs densely covered with tight, yellowish, peltate trichomes. Leaves: petiole 10-15 mm. Leaf blade oblong to oblanceolate, to 75 mm, margins entire, apex obtuse, occasionally somewhat acute; surfaces abaxially rusty or golden pubescent, often becoming glabrate and glaucous with age. Fruits: cupule yellowish, 20-60 mm thick, densely spiny, surface obscured; nut light brown, 8-13 mm, glabrous, completely enclosed by cupule until maturity. Flowering summer (Jul-Aug). Rocky slopes, chaparral, conifer forest, mostly at high elevations; 0-3300 m; Calif., Oreg.