Description from Flora of China
Clethra sleumeriana K. S. Hao (Repert Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 42: 84. 1937) was placed in the synonymy of C. fargesii by Hu (J. Arnold Arbor. 41: 164–190. 1960) but was resurrected by Sleumer (Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 87: 36–116. 1967). The known type material (Hunan: “Tse ching shan, in der Nähe von Sü pu,” 1000 m, fl. 8 Sep 1929, S. S. Sin 615, holotype, B) was destroyed during World War II. Hu did not see type material of this species, and Sleumer, who apparently did see it before it was destroyed, states that there are several characters that distinguish C. sleumeriana from C. fargesii. Based on Sleumer’s description, we agree that the species is likely not C. fargesii; we cannot, however, clearly delimit it from a multi-racemed form of C. delavayi, a species that, like C. sleumeriana, occurs in Hunan Province.
Morphological characters and geographic distribution are the same as for the family.