Description from Flora of China
Trees, up to 14 m tall, ca. 18 cm d.b.h. Young branchlets and petioles ferruginous or yellow-brown pubescent or glabrous. Leaves alternate or clustered toward apex of branchlet; petiole 8-12 mm; leaf blade oblong, elliptic, oblong-lanceolate, lanceolate, oblanceolate, or oblong-obovate, 8-14 × 2.5-4 cm, densely golden yellow sericeous or white, yellow, brown-yellow, or red-brown sericeous abaxially when young, glabrous adaxially, triplinerved, lateral veins 3 or 4 pairs, lowermost pair arising 2-3 mm from base, base cuneate or rotund, apex acuminate or falcate-acuminate. Umbels 3-5-fascicled toward apex of branchlet or internode, 5-flowered. Pedicel ca. 2 mm. Perianth segments 4, elliptic. Male flowers: fertile stamens 6; filaments pubescent at base, of 3rd whorls each with 2 stipitate glands at base; rudimentary pistil glabrous. Fruit ellipsoid, ca. 8 × 6 mm, seated on shallowly discoid perianth tube; fruiting pedicel 5-7 mm, pilose.
Neolitsea aurata is extremely variable in leaf shape and indumentum color.
Broad-leaved forests and forest margins on mountain slopes, weed-tree forests; 500-1900 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Japan].