Description from Flora of China
Trees evergreen, large, with stout buttresses. Bark fissured, shallowly flaky, grayish mauve-brown, with small but prominent white lenticels at base of fissures and on buttress crowns. Stipules lanceolate, persisting in juveniles; leaf blade oblong to lanceolate. Inflorescence racemose. Flowers and fruit as in Shorea, but flower sepals narrowly lanceolate, imbricate at base only; petals falling separately. Stamens 15; filaments short, dilated; pollen sacs narrowly oblong, glabrous; connective appendages short or columnar, relatively stout. Ovary ovoid, small, pubescent; style filiform, long. Fruit sepals subequal, with narrow thickened base often becoming valvate in fully ripe fruit, narrowly winglike, long; nut globose or ellipsoid.
The Chinese species differs from others in Parashorea in that the seedlings do not have a silvery abaxial leaf surface and the pubescence on the nut obscures the normally distinct pale lenticels; but this species is otherwise typical of the genus. Parashorea has wood-anatomical similarities to the red meranti group of Shorea; molecular phylogenetic evidence suggests that it is basal to them. Formal review of the status of genera in tribe Shoreae must await further molecular evidence.
Fourteen species: Cambodia, China, W Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, S Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam; one species in China.