Large evergreen tree to 25 m. Young parts with greyish white to pale brown appressed hairs. Leaf blade elliptic-obovate to narrowly obovate, 20–30 × 6–10 cm, both surfaces glabrous; secondary veins 16–20 on each side of midvein, reticulate veins prominent on both surfaces when dry; base cuneate; apex acute to shortly acuminate. Petiole 3–5 cm; stipular scar obtusely triangular, 2–3 cm. Flowers ~10 cm across; bract scar 5–10 mm below tepals. Tepals 9–12, white; outer 3 tepals basally green and apically milky white, obovate-oblong, 6–8 × 2.5–3 cm; middle and inner tepals obovate to spatulate, 6–8 × 1.5–2.5 cm, fleshy, base clawed. Fruit ovoid-ellipsoid to nearly terete, 7–10 × ~6 cm, smooth, not tuberculate; mature carpels more than 100, rhombic on exposed side, dehiscing along dorsal suture, apex shortly beaked. Seeds 1–4 per carpel. Flowering April-May, fruiting September (China). Diploid 2n=38. (Xia, Liu & Nooteboom 2008).
Distribution Myanmar China Guizhou, Yunnan India Arunachal Pradesh, Assam Thailand
Habitat Evergreen broad-leaved forests; 1400–3000 m.
USDA Hardiness Zone 10
RHS Hardiness Rating H2
Conservation status Data deficient (DD)
This species suits frost free areas, and is probably not grown without protection in our area. Bean (1981) and others recorded large, early 20th century trees at Caerhays Castle and other Cornish gardens, raised from George Forrest’s seed collections, but these seem to have been misidentifications of other manglietias such as M. insignis (The Tree Register 2021). In New Zealand’s North Island, however, the species is recorded from a mild part of Eastwoodhill National Arboretum (2019).