A medium-sized tree in the wild; branchlets downy at least until autumn. Leaves up to 5 in. long and 2 in. wide, oblong-ovate, shortly acuminate, downy beneath when young, persistently so on the main veins, simply serrate, with fine mucronate teeth; veins parallel, rather close, in twelve to sixteen pairs; petioles up to 1⁄4 in. long, downy. Involucral bracts very unequal-sided, the main vein running near to the narrower side, which is entire and usually lacks a basal lobe, the margin of the broader part coarsely toothed.
A native of the Himalaya from Kashmir to Bhutan up to about 8,000 ft; described in 1831, but not yet established in cultivation and perhaps not reliably hardy. Works of Himalayan botany tend to stress the similarity between this species and C. viminea from the same general region, but they are quite distinct and not even closely related. The affinity of C. faginea is with the Japanese C. tschonoskii, though C. polyneura Franch., a native of central and western China, is a nearer neighbour, also allied to it. In all these species the bracts of the fruits are strongly asymmetrical and the marginal teeth of the leaves are sharply pointed at the apex.