Description from Flora of China
Quercus balansae Drake, J. Bot. (Morot) 4: 152. 1890; Castanopsis balansae (Drake) Schottky; Lithocarpus eremiticus Chun & C. C. Huang ex Y. C. Hsu & H. W. Jen; L. luchunensis Y. C. Hsu & H. W. Jen; L. lutchuensis Koidzumi; Pasania balansae (Drake) Hickel & A. Camus; Synaedrys balansae (Drake) Koidzumi.
Trees to 30 m tall. Branches of last-year growth yellowish gray, sparsely lenticellate; lenticels slightly raised. Petiole 1.5-2.5 cm, base thickened; leaf blade oblong to obovate-oblong, 10-38 × 5-13 cm, ± rigidly papery, abaxially glaucous when dry and with waxy scalelike trichomes, base cuneate and ± decurrent on petiole, margin entire, apex acuminate; secondary veins 9-12 on each side of midvein, abruptly curving apically near margin but not fusing; tertiary veins reticulate, conspicuous on both surfaces. Male inflorescences paniculate; rachis tawny pubescent. Female inflorescence with cupules in clusters of 5-7 scattered on rachis. Infructescences ca. 15 cm; rachis base 6-10 mm thick. Cupule obovoid, subglobose, or irregularly shaped, to 5 × 8 cm, completely enclosing nut, wall 0.5-1.5 cm thick and corky; bracts reduced to spiral or concentric lines. Nut subglobose, 2.5-3.5 × 2-3 cm, wall 2-3 mm thick; scar covering more than 1/2 of nut, convex. Cotyledons plicate. Fl. Apr-May, fr. Sep-Nov of following year.
Possibly conspecific with Lithocarpus pasania, but additional specimens are needed to confirm this.
Broad-leaved evergreen forests by streams; 400-1900 m. SE Yunnan [N Laos, Vietnam]