Description from Flora of China
Gaultheria forrestii Diels.
Shrubs, rarely small trees, (0.3–)1–3(–4) m tall, glabrous except on racemes. Twigs terete, sometimes obtusely angled. Leaves scattered; petiole 3–5(–10) mm; leaf blade elliptic, oblong-elliptic, ovate, obovate, or narrowly obovate-lanceolate, 5–17 × 2–6.5 cm, leathery, abaxially scattered punctate, secondary veins 4–7 pairs, secondary and fine veins distinctly raised abaxially, slightly impressed adaxially, base cuneate to broadly cuneate, sometimes obtuse-rounded, margin obtusely serrulate, apex acute, sometimes acuminate. Inflorescences axillary, racemose, 3–9 cm, strict, many flowered, densely pubescent; bracts ovate, 1–3 mm, abaxially glabrous or puberulous, margin ciliolate. Pedicel 1–7 mm, pubescent; bracteoles apical, rarely distant, broadly ovate. Calyx glabrous; lobes triangular, ca. 2 mm, margin ciliolate. Corolla white, tubular-urceolate, 4–5 mm, abaxially glabrous; lobes very short. Filaments dilated, ca. 1.25 mm, puberulous; anthers ca. 1.25 mm, thecae 2-awned. Ovary pubescent. Calyx at fruiting blue-purple, fleshy; capsule globose, 4–6 mm in diam., pubescent. Fl. Jan–May, fr. Jun–Aug. 2n = 44, 48.
Gaultheria fragrantissima varies much in leaf size and shape, generally because of habitat differences. In forest understories or at forest margins it is a large shrub or small tree with large leaves, whereas in thickets or on sunny slopes it is often a small shrub with narrow leaves. It is characterized by glabrous twigs, abaxially punctate leaf blades, and white waxy inflorescences with densely pubescent rachis and pedicels.
Evergreen, Pinus, and mixed forests, forest margins, thickets on dry slopes, sunny slopes; 1000–3200 m. SE Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, N Vietnam].