Description from Flora of China
Shrubs 1-3 m tall. Branchlets yellowish to brown, terete, pubescent. Petiole 3-15 cm, sparsely pilose to subglabrous; leaf blade usually greenish on both surfaces when dry, lanceolate, oblong-ovate or -obovate, broadly ovate, or broadly obovate, 4-22 × 3-12 cm, membranous to papery, abaxially sparsely appressed pubescent, or densely tomentose-villous with hairs spreading, brown, longer, and thicker along secondary veins and especially midvein, adaxially sparsely strigose, secondary veins 6-8 on both sides of midvein, abaxially elevated, base broadly cuneate, truncate, or shallowly cordate, margin irregularly roughly serrate, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescences corymbose cymes, 7-20 cm wide, apex truncate to slightly arcuate; branches short, densely shortly hairy, hairs thick. Sterile flowers with sepals 4, white, obovate, broadly so, or suborbicular, 0.8-2.2 × 0.9-2.2 cm, margin entire or few denticulate. Fertile flowers with calyx tube cupular; teeth triangular, ca. 0.5 mm. Petals white, oblong-ovate. Stamens 10, unequal; anthers broadly oblong to subglobose. Ovary inferior. Styles 2, usually recurved, 0.5-1.5 mm in fruit. Capsule cupular, 2.5-3.5 mm in diam., apex truncate. Seeds brownish, narrowly ellipsoid to oblong-obovoid, rarely subglobose, compressed, shortly winged at both ends; seed coat striate veined. Fl. Jul-Aug, fr. Sep-Oct.
One of the present authors (Bartholomew) believes that Hydrangea longipes var. longipes is not distinct from H. robusta and that var. fulvescens and var. lanceolata are not distinct from H. aspera.
* Dense to sparse forests or thickets along stream banks, in valleys, or on mountain slopes; 1300-2800 m. Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan.