Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or small trees, 3-6 m tall. Branchlets and inflorescences densely stellate-pilosulose or grayish-yellowish stellate-tomentose. Stipules subulate, 3-5 mm, caducous; petiole 6-14 cm, glabrescent; leaf blade triangular-ovate or broadly ovate, undivided or shortly 1- or 2-lobed, 12-17 × 14-19 cm, membranous or papery, greenish, abaxially sparingly stellate-pilosulose or subglabrescent and scattered yellowish or orange glandular-scaly, or gray or white tomentulose and sparsely reddish glandular scaly, adaxially glabrescent, base subtruncate, broadly cuneate, sometimes slightly cordate, with 2 basal glands, margin entire, apex abruptly acuminate; basal veins 3. Male inflorescences unbranched, 5-15 cm; bracts subulate, ca. 4 mm. Male flowers 2-9-fascicled; pedicels 2-4 mm; calyx lobes 3 or 5, ovate, 3-4 mm, pubescent; stamens 50-60. Female inflorescences unbranched, 5-15 cm; peduncle ca. 5 mm thick; bracts lanceolate-subulate, ca. 2.5 mm. Female flowers: pedicel 2-4 mm; sepals 5, triangular, 2.5-3 mm, pubescent; ovary densely pubescent and softly spiny; styles 3, 3-4 mm, almost free, long papillose. Fruiting pedicel 3-5 mm; capsule subglobose, ca. 10 mm in diam., tomentose and densely softly spiny, spines linear, 5-15 mm, stellate-pilosulose when young, glabrescent. Seeds subglobose or ovoid, 4-5 mm in diam., blackish, verruculose or smooth. Fl. Jun-Jul, fr. Jul-Aug.
Mallotus tenuifolius and its varieties are included within the preceding species, M. apelta, by some authors (see Govaerts et al., World Checkl. Euphorbiaceae: http://www.kew.org/wcsp/home.do).
● Mountain valleys or slopes, forests, thickets, rocky hills, roadsides; 200-1700 m. Anhui, Fujian, S Gansu, N Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, S Shaanxi, E Sichuan, Zhejiang.