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A shrub 3 to 4 ft high; stems red, terete when mature. Leaves almost sessile, narrowly elliptic to oblong, 13⁄8 to 21⁄2 in. long and up to about 3⁄4 in. wide, acute to rounded and apiculate at the apex, cuneate at the base; petiole very short. Inflorescence with up to eight flowers, which are shallowly cup-shaped and 13⁄8 to 13⁄4 in. wide. Sepals leafy, outwardly curved in bud, reflexed in fruit. Petals bright yellow, tinged red on the back, about 3⁄8 in. wide, with an acute apiculus near the apex. Stamens about three-quarters as long as the petals, with yellow anthers. Styles outcurved below the apex, slightly shorter than the ovary.
A rare species in the wild, described in 1985 from a specimen collected by Forrest in the Tali range (Cangshan) in 1929 and introduced from the same locality in 1981 (SBEC 127 and 551). It is near to the more widely distributed H. acmosepalum, and is also related to H. mysurense of India and Sri Lanka (Robson, op. cit. (1985), p. 239).