Description from Flora of China
Sycopsis laurifolia Hemsley, Hooker’s Icon. Pl. 29: t. 2836. 1907; Distylium velutinum Hu.
Shrubs to 3 m tall; young branches with stellate scales and stellate hairs, at first tomentose, glabrescent, sparsely lenticellate. Petiole 8–10 mm, densely stellately lepidote; leaf blade ovate or narrowly so, 5–12 × 2–4 cm, discolorous, abaxially glaucous, stellately tomentose, hairs yellowish, adaxially shiny, base cuneate or obtuse, margin entire or with a few teeth near apex, apex acute or acuminate; lateral veins 5 or 6 on each side, with 3 main veins from base, reticulate venation abaxially obscure, adaxially raised. Inflorescences 1–2 cm, bracts lanceolate, 3–4 mm. Male flowers sessile; floral cup lanceolate, 1.8–2 mm, tomentose; bracteoles inserted on cup, subglabrous. Stamens 1–7, filaments ca. 3 mm; anthers ellipsoid, 0.8–1 mm. Bisexual flowers: pedicellate; floral cup 1.2–1.5 mm, stellately tomentose, with subglabrous bracteoles; stamens 8–12; filaments 1.7–2 mm. Ovary stellately pubescent; styles 4–5 mm, glabrous. Capsule 10–12 mm, densely yellow-brown villous, apex acute, persistent floral cup almost as long as capsule, stellately pubescent. Seeds 6–7 mm. Fl. Apr–Jun, fr. Jun–Sep.
Forests; 1300--1500 m. SW Guizhou (Anlong Bouyeizu Miaozu Zizhixian, Xingren Xian), SE Yunnan.