Description from Flora of China
Hamamelis chinensis R. Brown in G. F. Abel, Narr. Journey China, App. B, 375. 1818.
Shrubs or small trees, 1–3 m tall, much branched; branchlets stellately pubescent. Stipules triangular-lanceolate or obovate, 3–5 × 1.5–2 mm, stellately pubescent; petiole 0.2–0.5 cm, stellately pubescent; leaf blade ovate, elliptic or, rarely, obovate, 2–6.5 × 1–3 cm, discolorous, abaxially densely stellately pubescent, adaxially sparsely pubescent or stellately pubescent when young, glabrescent, base asymmetrical, rounded or cuneate, margin ± entire, apex acute or shortly acuminate; lateral veins 4–8 on each side, abaxially prominent. Inflorescence a short raceme or nearly capitate, terminal, mostly on short lateral branches, 3–16-flowered; peduncle 0.8–1 cm, stellately pubescent; bracts linear or lanceolate, 2–4.5 mm. Flowers shortly pedicellate, open before leaves appear. Floral cup cupular, stellately pubescent, 1.2–1.5 mm. Sepals ovate, 2–3 mm. Petals 4(–6), white, pale yellow or red, 1–2 cm, apex obtuse or rounded. Stamens 4 or 5, filaments very short, connective elongated into a horn, 0.4–0.5 mm, anthers ovoid, 0.5–0.6 mm; staminodes 4–6, scalelike, alternate with stamens. Ovary inferior, stellately pubescent, styles ca. 1 mm. Persistent floral cup 2/3–4/5 as long as capsule; capsules ovoid or obovoid-globose, 7–8 × 6–7 mm, stellately tomentose, hairs brown, apex rounded, adnate to floral cup for 2/3–3/4 of their length. Seeds ovoid-globose or ellipsoid, 4–7 × 3.5–4 mm. Fl. Mar–Apr, fr. May–Jul.
This species is widely cultivated in China.
Two varieties occur in China; the present authors have seen no specimens of the recently published var. coloratum C. Q. Huang (Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 21: 508. 2001).
Forests, thickets, sunny hills; 1000--1200 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [E and N India, Japan].