Description from Flora of China
Trees large, 10-25 m tall. Branchlets brown or black-purple, brownish pilose or glabrous, with conspicuous white lenticels. Petiole 2-5 cm, glabrous; leaf blade broadly ovate, elliptic-ovate, or cordate, 8-17 × 6-12 cm, thickly papery to papery, abaxially glabrous or pilose on veins or in vein axils, adaxially glabrous, base truncate or cordate, rarely subrounded or broadly cuneate, margin finely serrulate, in upper or nearly terminal leaves ± conspicuously dentate, rarely subentire, apex acuminate. Inflorescences brownish pilose. Flowers 5-6.5 mm in diam., in terminal or axillary, symmetrical, dichasial cymose panicles. Sepals 1.9-2.2 × 1.3-2 mm, glabrous. Petals clawed, elliptic-spatulate, 2-2.2 × 1.6-2 mm. Disk pubescent. Style 1.7-2.1 mm, ± deeply branched, glabrous or pilose. Fruit yellow-brown or brown at maturity, subglobose, 5-6.5 mm in diam., glabrous or pilose; fruiting peduncles and pedicels dilated and ± fleshy. Seeds dark brown or blackish purple, 3.2-4.5 mm in diam. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Aug-Oct.
The fine, hard timber is good for building construction and making fine wood furniture. The fruiting rachis is thick, rich in sugar, and edible; it is used medicinally and for making wine and sugar.
Forests, forest margins, slopes, open places, also often cultivated in gardens or by houses; below 2100 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, SE Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal].