Description from Flora of China
Cinnamomum argenteum Gamble.
Trees, 6-16 m tall, 30-80 cm d.b.h. Branchlets purple-brown, terete, ± angled. Buds ovoid, ca. 2.5 mm, white sericeous. Leaves alternate or subopposite; petiole 1-1.5 cm, concave-convex, glabrous; leaf blade glaucous and opaque abaxially, green and shiny adaxially, lanceolate, 6-11 × 2.5-4 cm, leathery, densely silver sericeous when young but appressed sericeous-tomentulose when mature abaxially, glabrous adaxially, trinerved or triplinerved, midrib extending to leaf apex, with 1 or 2 pairs of additional veins curving toward leaf apex, midrib and basal lateral veins elevated abaxially, almost inconspicuous adaxially, basal lateral veins arising at or up to 5 mm above leaf base, arcuate, evanescent near leaf apex, with a few inconspicuous additional veins outside, sometimes with 2 slender secondary lateral veins along leaf margin from base, transverse veins numerous, arcuate, inconspicuous, base attenuate to subrounded, apex acuminate, acumen obtuse. Panicle 4-7(-9) cm, arising from base of current year branchlet, 5-12-flowered; peduncle slender, subfiliform, 2-4 cm, finely pubescent. Pedicels filiform, 4-8 mm, pubescent. Flowers white, ca. 5 mm. Perianth densely sericeous-pubescent outside and inside; perianth tube very short, obconical, ca. 1.5 mm; perianth lobes obovate, subequal, ca. 3.5 × 2 mm, inner ones slightly narrower, all acute. Fertile stamens 9, ca. 7.5 mm; filaments almost as long as anthers, those of 3rd whorl broad, each with 2 shortly stalked reniform glands, others glandless; anthers of 1st and 2nd whorls broadly ovate, obtuse, with introrse cells, those of 3rd whorl oblong-ovate, with extrorse cells. Staminodes 3, cordate, ca. 1.5 mm, shortly stalked. Ovary ovoid, ca. 1 mm; style robust, ca. 2.3 mm; stigma dilated, capitate. Fruit ovoid, ca. 13 × 7-8 mm, glabrous; perianth cup in fruit semiglobose, entire and 4-5 mm wide at apex; fruit stalk slender, barely thickened. Fl. Apr-May, fr. Aug-Oct.
The bark of the branchlets is used as an aromatic spice. The roots, trunk, and leafy branchlets contain essential oil.
● Forests; 700-1800 m. W Sichuan, NE Yunnan.