Description from Flora of China
Liquidambar chinensis Champion, Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 4: 164. 1852.
Trees ca. 20 m tall, trunk to ca. 60 cm in diam.; bark gray, subscabrous; young branches glabrous; buds ovoid, pubescent. Stipules caducous; petiole ca. 1 cm, glabrous; leaf blade obovate-oblong, 7–13 × 3–4.5 cm, leathery, abaxially glabrous, base cuneate, margin crenate-serrate, apex acute; lateral veins ca. 7 on each side, prominent on both surfaces. Male inflorescences cylindrical, ca. 1 cm, usually many arranged in panicle; peduncle pubescent. Female inflorescence solitary or many in panicles, 15–26-flowered; peduncle 2–4 cm; bracts 4 or 5, ovate or lanceolate, 1–1.5 cm. Male flowers: stamens subsessile; anthers obovoid. Female flowers: staminode teeth pointed; styles 3–4 mm, pubescent, apex recurved. Infructescences subglobose, 1.7–2.8 cm wide, base truncate. Seeds brown, shiny. Fl. Mar–Jun, fr. Jul–Sep.
The essential oils of the wood are used in medicine or perfume, and the wood itself is used for making furniture.
Forests; 600--1000 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, SE Yunnan, Zhejiang [Vietnam].