Shrub 1–2 m. Branchlets densely villose. Leaves papery, 4–11 × 3–3.5 cm, elliptic to obovate, both surfaces sparsely covered with grey or brown stellate pubesence, five to six secondary veins on each side of the midrib, margins serrulate, apex acuminate; petiole 0.1–0.2 cm long. Inflorescences terminal, racemose, 3–4 cm long, with three to five flowers; pedicels 0.8–1.5 cm long. Flowers 1.2–1.5(–2) cm long; calyx five-toothed, membranous, corolla tube 0.3–0.4 cm, lobes 0.5–1.5 cm, lanceolate to oblong, membranous. Fruit subglobose to obovoid, 0.6–0.8 cm long, densely covered in grey stellate tomentum. Flowering April to June, fruiting August to October (China). (Hwang & Grimes 1996).
Distribution China Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang Taiwan
Habitat Forest undergrowth or hillside scrub, between 100 and 600 m asl.
USDA Hardiness Zone 8
RHS Hardiness Rating H3
Conservation status Not evaluated (NE)
The shrubby Styrax faberi has been quite widely cultivated and is available commercially in Europe, but is seldom seen. As it comes from rather low altitudes in southern and eastern China it is unlikely to be particularly hardy in colder areas, but it grows well at Caerhays, Cornwall, for example (C. Williams pers. comm. 2021).