Description from Flora of China
Evergreen trees, 8-15 m tall, 30-40 cm d.b.h. Bark gray, scaly peeled off, with collated spots exposed. Branchlets glabrous or densely gray-yellow villous. Leaves alternate; petiole 6-22 mm, glabrous or hairy; leaf blade obovate-elliptic, obovate-lanceolate, oblong, or lanceolate, 4.5-9.5 × 1.4-4 cm, glabrous or villous on both surfaces, lateral veins 7-10 pairs, base cuneate, apex obtuse-acuminate or acute. Umbels axillary, 3- or 4-flowered; peduncle very short or absent. Male flowers: pedicel stout and short, densely villous; perianth segments 6, ovate or elliptic; fertile stamens 9; filaments villous, of 3rd whorls each with 2 stipitate sagittate glands at base; rudimentary pistil lacking. Fruit subglobose, 7-8 mm in diam., seated on flat perianth tube; perianth segments persistent; fruiting pedicel ca. 5 mm. Fl. Aug-Sep, fr. summer of next year.
One of the four syntypes of Litsea coreana, Taquet 1356 (E), belongs to Machilus thunbergii according to Lauener (Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 40: 353. 1982).
Evergreen broad-leaved forests, weed-tree forests; 300-2300 m. Anhui, Fujian, N Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Korea, Japan].