Hausvater 5(1): 254. 1770.
Trees, deciduous, to 30 m; lower trunk without stubs of dead branches. Bark dark gray to dark-brown, irregularly fissured with scaly ridges, inner bark orangish pink. Twigs reddish-brown, (1-) 2-3.5 mm diam., glabrous. Terminal buds dark reddish-brown, conic to ovoid, 4-7 mm, noticeably 5-angled in cross-section, usually silvery or tawny-pubescent distal to middle. Leaves: petiole 25-60 mm, glabrous. Leaf-blade elliptic to ovate or obovate, 70-160 × 80-130 mm, base obtuse to truncate, margins with 5-9 deep lobes and 18-50 awns, lobes distally expanded, sinuses usually extending more than 1/2 distance to midrib, apex acute; surfaces abaxially glabrous except for minute axillary tufts of tomentum, adaxially glossy light green, glabrous, secondary-veins raised on both surfaces. Acorns biennial; cup turbinate to hemispheric, 7-13 mm high × 16.5-31.5 mm wide, covering 1/3-1/2 nut, outer surface light to dark reddish-brown, glossy, glabrous to puberulent, inner surface light-brown, glabrous, occasionally with ring of pubescence around scar, scales often tuberculate, base broad, glossy, margins strongly concave with tips tightly appressed, acute to attenuate; nut oblong to subglobose, 12-22 × 10-21 mm, glabrous, with 1 or more rings of fine pits at apex, scar diam. 6.5-13.5 mm. 2n = 24.
Phenology: Flowering spring.
Habitat: Poor soils, well-drained uplands, dry slopes, and ridges, occasionally on poorly drained sites
Elevation: 0-1500 m
Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
Trees having acorns with broad, distinctly warty cups are sometimes classified as Quercus coccinea var. tuberculata Sargent.
Quercus coccinea reportedly hybridizes with Q. imbricaria, Q. ilicifolia (= Q. ×robbinsii Trelease), Q. laevis, and Q. palustris (E. J. Palmer 1948) and with Q. phellos, Q. rubra, and Q. velutina (= Q. ×fontana Laughlin).