Description from Flora of China
Trees to 28 m tall. Branchlets and rachis of inflorescences tawny pubescent. Petiole 2.5-4 cm, pubescent when young; leaf blade elliptic to ovate-elliptic or sometimes obovate to obovate-elliptic, 9-15 × 3.5-6 cm, rigidly leathery, abaxially with rust-colored, scurfy scalelike trichomes and stellate hairs, base subrounded to broadly cuneate and sometimes asymmetric, margin entire, apex acuminate to acute; secondary veins 7-13 on each side of midvein, abaxially pubescent; tertiary veins abaxially conspicuous. Male inflorescences in a panicle, less than 3 cm. Female inflorescences to 20 cm; rachis ca. 8 mm thick; cupules in clusters of 3-5, rarely solitary on basal part of rachis. Cupule shallowly bowl-shaped, 0.8-1.5 × 2.5-3.5 cm, covering base of nut, basally narrowed and slightly elongate into a short stalk, wall 3-6 mm thick and woody; bracts imbricate, triangular to rhomboid, densely tawny puberulent; midvein ridged. Nut subglobose, 3-7.5 × 2.5-3.8 cm, often white farinose, apex shortly pointed; scar 1-1.4 cm in diam., concave. Fl. Aug-Sep, fr. Sep-Oct of following year.
Lithocarpus wenxianensis Y. J. Zhang & al. (Acta Bot. Yunnan. 16: 121. 1994), from SE Gansu, is close to L. petelotii, but its status needs further study. With such a disjunct distribution, it seems unlikely that the two species are the same.
Mixed mesophytic forests; 1000-1800 m. Guangxi, S Guizhou, W Hunan, SE Yunnan [Vietnam]