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Tree to 30 m. Bark dark grey and scaly. Branchlets (and immature growth) densely covered in pale orange-brown or tawny stellate tomentum; older branchlets spotted with pale lenticels. Leaves evergreen, 6–12 × 2–3.5 cm, narrowly oblanceolate to elliptic, lower surface covered with white or tawny stellate tomentum, secondary veins forming a prominent herring-bone pattern, 11–18 secondary veins on each side of the midrib, margins entire or finely serrated near the apex, apex acuminate; petiole 1–1.5 cm long and tawny-tomentose. Infructescence orange-tomentose, 1 cm long, with two cupules. Cupule bowl-shaped, 0.6–0.8 × 1.1–1.5 cm, outside and inside pale greyish or reddish brown-pubescent; scales in six to seven rings. Acorn ellipsoid to globose, with one-quarter to half of its length enclosed in the cupule, 1.5–2 cm long, stylopodium prominent, tomentose. Flowering May, fruiting October (China). Muir 1996, Huang et al. 1999, Menitsky 2005. Distribution CHINA: Fujian, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hunan, Zhejiang; JAPAN; TAIWAN. Habitat Broadleaf evergreen forest between 300 and 1500 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 8. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration Huang et al. 1999, Menitsky 2005; NT727. Cross-reference K88.
Despite being widespread in well-botanised areas this species had not, it seems, been introduced to the United Kingdom prior to a collection made by McNamara and Maunder (MBMX 369) at the University of Kagoshima Field Centre in Kyushu, in 1996. Muir (1996) states that it has been in cultivation in southern Europe ‘for a long time’ and that it is established in Australasian collections, so its absence from British and, apparently, North American gardens is surprising. The specimen at Kew grown from MBMX 369 is now approximately 4 m in height, although somewhat sparsely branched. The foliage is attractive, with a contrast between the glossy dark green upper surface of the leaves and the light brown hairy undersides.