The leaves are bright green, obovate, up to 10 cm 3.9 in) long with a smooth edge. In the upper third of the leaf is slightly sinuate. The leaf arrangement is alternate.
The Parrotia flowers before the leaf shoots. The color is red.
Very inconspicuous capsule fruit.
The branches are green to brown and slightly zig-zag. The buds are brown and hairy.