Only two evergreen species, a tree (C. chrysophylla) and a shrub (C. sempervirens), both have shoots that are golden tomentose at first. Leaves alternate, simple, entire, oblong-lanceolate to narrow oval, glossy yellow-green above, golden tomentose below. Flowers unisexual, male and female flowers found on the same spike. Fruit a densely prickly, small nut with 5 valves. Native to Washington, Oregon and California.
Chrysolepis: chryso, gold, and lepis, scale.