rees up to 20 m tall and 50 cm d.b.h. Bark gray, smooth. Branchlets slender, densely covered with yellow appressed sericeous-pubescent hairs. Leaves on young branchlets subopposite, those on old branchlets alternate; petiole 5-15 mm, densely covered with appressed yellow sericeous-pubescent hairs; leaf blade yellow-green and opaque abaxially, dark green and shiny adaxially, elliptic or ovate-elliptic to lanceolate, 4-13.5 × 2-6 cm, leathery, densely appressed yellow sericeous-pubescent but sparsely so when mature abaxially, appressed yellow sericeous-pubescent when young but glabrate to glabrous when mature adaxially, trinerved or triplinerved, midrib and basal lateral veins conspicuously elevated abaxially, impressed adaxially, basal lateral veins arising at or up to 4 mm above leaf base, oblique and extending to leaf apex, axils of basal lateral veins sometimes inconspicuously saccate abaxially and slightly bullate adaxially, transverse veins and veinlets inconspicuous on both surfaces, base cuneate to rounded, apex acuminate or acute. Pedicels 2-3 mm, covered with same hairs as petiole. Flowers yellowish, 3-4 mm. Perianth densely pubescent outside and inside; perianth tube obconical, short, ca. 1 mm; perianth lobes 6, outer ones narrower, oblong-lanceolate or lanceolate, ca. 3 × 1.5 mm, inner ones ovate-oblong, ca. 3 × 1.7 mm. Fertile stamens 9, ca. 2.4 mm (of 1st and 2nd whorls) or ca. 2.7 mm (of 3rd whorl); filaments villous, those of 3rd whorl each with 2 orbicular reniform glands; anthers villous abaxially, 4-celled; cells introrse (of 1st and 2nd whorls) or extrorse (of 3rd whorl). Staminodes 3, ca. 1.2 mm, villous, stalked. Ovary globose, ca. 1 mm in diam., glabrous; style ca. 2.5 mm, slightly curved; stigma dilated, discoid. Fruit ellipsoid, ca. 7 × 5 mm, blue-black when mature; perianth cup in fruit cupuliform, entire and up to 5 mm wide at apex. Fl. Jun-Jul, fr. Aug-Oct.
Evergreen broad-leaved forests on mountain slopes or in valleys; 400-1100(-2500) m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, N Thailand, Vietnam].
The leaves are an important spice.