In mainland China, the species is found in Fujian, southern Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, western Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, northwestern Jiangxi, central and southeastern Sichuan, southeastern Tibet and southern Zhejiang. It also occurs in Taiwan. In Hong Kong, it is distributed in Ma On Shan, Tai Mo Shan, Mount Parker, Sunset Peak, Lantau Peak, and Sai Kung Peninsula. In the Shing Mun Arboretum, a living specimen is displayed.
The status of the species is not good as the growth rate of the plant is slow and its regeneration is infrequent. Its seeds are poorly dispersed and predated by rats.
The declining of the population is also caused by forest clearing and habitat modification.
Protection and conservation
In Hong Kong, this species is under protection based on Forestry Regulations Cap. 96A. All the localities of the species occurrence are within Country Parks under protection. Tai Mo Shan Montane Scrub Forest in the upper Shing Mun Valley was assigned as a Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1975 as the forest supports this rare species and other species, Camellia granthamiana, Camellia waldenae, and many species of orchids.
In Mainland China, it is recorded in China Plant Red Data Book and Illustrations of Rare and Endangered plant in Guangdong Province.
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