An evergreen tree 20 to 45 ft high, the young shoots reddish, appressed-downy; buds minute; short branches somewhat spiny. Leaves leathery, oblanceolate to narrowly oval, tapered towards both ends, usually more gradually towards the base, 2 to 6 in. long, 3⁄4 to 13⁄4 in. wide, finely toothed, dark glossy green above, pale beneath, soon quite glabrous; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Flowers numerous, in terminal corymbs 3 or 4 in. across; each flower scarcely 1⁄2 in. wide, white. Petals roundish, spreading; calyx-tube funnel-shaped, with triangular lobes, downy like the flower-stalks. Fruits roundish, orange-red, glabrous, about 1⁄3 in. long, the calyx-lobes persisting and incurved.
Native of W. Hupeh, China; discovered in 1900 by Wilson, who describes this as one of the handsomest evergreen trees in Central China, where it is frequently planted round shrines and tombs. It is most closely allied to P. serrulata, but is well distinguished by its shorter-stalked leaves and downy inflorescence; the fruit and flowers are larger than in P. serrulata. Although not completely hardy at Kew, it is damaged only in severe winters.