Tree to 25 m or more with scaly grey-brown bark. Young shoots densely hairy becoming glabrous. Leaves thinly leathery, evergreen, to 20 × 4.5 cm, lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, taper-pointed at the apex, rounded at the base with as many as 20 pairs of lateral veins, impressed above and prominent beneath, at least on young plants. The margin is spine-toothed, particularly on juvenile plants; on mature plants toothed only towards the apex, or entire. Downy above and revolute at first, becoming glabrous and glossy green when mature. The lower side of the leaf (in the Rushforth collection) is glabrous even when young, with persistent hairs on the veins. Petiole to 1.5 cm, very short on juvenile plants, tomentose when young, later glabrous. Infructescence to 15 cm long with several cupules. Cups hemispherical, to 1.2 cm across, the grey tomentose appressed scales with a dark tip. Acorns ovoid, to 1.5 × 1.2 cm, about half enclosed in the cup and ripening the first year. (Coombes & Zhou 2009; Deng et al. 2015)
Distribution China Xizang (Tibet)
Habitat Mountain forests and ravines
USDA Hardiness Zone 7
Conservation status Endangered (EN)
Taxonomic note Quercus tungmaiensis has long been confused in literature with the quite different Q. lanata and Q. leucotrichophora. This error was first noticed by Allen Coombes who identified a plant of the Rushforth collection at Chevithorne Barton as Q. tungmaiensis (Coombes & Zhou 2009) and later by Deng et al. (2015). It is closely related to Q. engleriana.
Introduced to the UK by Keith Rushforth (KR 5765) from 25–30 m trees growing at 2100–2200 m at Pome (Bomi), Tibet, not far from the type locality at Tongmai. Tom Hudson propagated this plant from cuttings. One of these had reached about 5 m tall at Tregrehan in 2020 (T. Hudson pers. comm.) while another, at Chevithorne Barton, was 6.3 m × 10.2 cm in 2020 (J. MacEwen pers. comm.). At White House Farm, Kent, it was 5 m × 5 cm in 2019 (Tree Register 2020).
A plant at the Iturraran Botanical Garden in Spain was grown from seed collected by Jean Merret in Tibet. Plants grown from seed collected in Arunachal Pradesh, NE India (cultivated by Jacky Pousse in France) and in NW Yunnan close to the Myanmar border (cultivated at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, England), also appear to be this species. It is also grown at Arboretum Trompenburg in the Netherlands.
Described in 1966. Named after Tung-mai (Tongmai), in Tibet, where the holotype was collected (Coombes & Zhou 2009).