Description from Flora of China
Trees ca. 20 m tall; young shoots and rachis of inflorescences sparsely covered with reddish brown, lamellate, waxy scalelike trichomes. Petiole to ca. 1 cm, base becoming thick, pillow-shaped; leaf blade lanceolate to ovate, 4-12 × 1-4.5 cm, leathery, abaxially with layers of reddish brown to yellowish brown, slightly adnate, small, lamellate scalelike trichomes when young but grayish brown to silvery with age, base slightly cuneate to broadly so and oblique, margin entire or with a few shallow teeth, apex acuminate to narrowly caudate; midvein adaxially flat to slightly impressed but impressed when dry; secondary veins 8-13 on each side of midvein. Rachis of male catkins glabrous or glabrescent. Infructescence rachis 2-3 mm thick, glabrous. Cupule subglobose to ovoid, 1-1.5 cm, outside yellowish brown to reddish brown feltlike pubescent and covered with waxy scalelike trichomes, wall 0.5(-1) mm thick; bracts spinelike or reduced to tubercles. Nut subglobose to broadly conical, apex shortly pointed; scar basal, ca. 5 mm in diam. Fl. Mar-Jun, fr. Sep-Nov of following year.
The variation in cupule spines length is continuous between the two extremes, and it is not always possible to distinguish the two varieties.
* Mixed and broad-leaved evergreen forests, mixed mesophytic forests; below 1700 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang