Liriodendron chinense is Asia's native species in the genus Liriodendron. This native of central and southern China grows in the provinces of Anhui, Guangxi, Jiangsu, Fujian, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Zhejiang, Sichuan and Yunnan, and also locally in northern Vietnam.
Liriodendron chinense is very similar to the American species, Liriodendron tulipifera, differing in the often slightly larger and more deeply lobed leaves, and in the shorter inner petals in the flowers, which lack the orange pigment of L. tulipifera. The Chinese tulip tree reaches about 40 metres (130 ft) tall. Most of its populations are deciduous, with a semi-evergreen population identified at Mengla, Yunnan.