Description from Flora of China
Rhizomes, shortly creeping or ascending, densely scaly at apex and stipe bases; scales brown, linear-lanceolate, fibriform at apex. Fronds caespitose; fertile fronds 20-65 cm; stipe stramineous, (5-)20-30 cm, up to 2.5 mm in diam.; lamina pinnate-pinnatilobate to 2-pinnate, broadly lanceolate, 15-40 × 5-12 cm, base as wide as above, apex long acuminate; pinnae 12-25 pairs, alternate, subspreading, subsessile, lanceolate, 2.5-14 × 0.7-4 cm, base truncate, pinnatipartite to pinnate, apex long acuminate; pinnules or pinna segments ca. 12 pairs, alternate, approximate, oblong to broadly lanceolate, 0.5-2 × 2-5 mm, margin entire or serrate, apex obtuse, obtusely pointed, or acute. Veins inconspicuous adaxially, visible abaxially, pinnate, ca. 7 pairs, oblique, simple. Lamina thickly papery when dried, greenish brown, glabrate on both surfaces; rachis and costae on abaxial surface stramineous, glabrate. Sori orbicular or elliptic, supramedial, 5 or 6 pairs per pinnule or segment, exindusiate. Perispore surface with prominent folds. 2n = ca. 80.
Dryopteris aristulata Rosenstock (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 13: 132. 1914), described from Guizhou, was treated as a synonym of Athyrium dissitifolium by P. S. Wang & X. Y. Wang (Pterid. Fl. Guizhou, 161. 2001).
Forests, among shrubs at roadsides, common; 600-2700 m. Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Sichuan, Yunnan [Bhutan, N India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam].