Macrofossils of Carpinus have been widely reported from the Cenozoic of the Northern Hemisphere. However, the leaf cuticules of the genus have rarely been described. A new species, named Carpinus tengchongensis Dai et B.N. Sun, sp. nov., is identified based on 13 leaf fossils, collected from the late Pliocene Mangbang Formation, Tengchong County of Yunnan Province, China. The important characters of the fossil are its oblong-ovate leaf shape, obliquely cordate base, doubly serrulate margin, straight and moderately thick primary vein, pinnate secondary veins, percurrent tertiary veins, orthogonally reticulate areoles, absence of veinlets, anomocytic stomata with double-layered stomatal rim, well-formed T-pieces and trichome bases, which indicates an affinity within the genus Carpinus section Carpinus subsection Monbeigianae, especially with C. tsaiana. Carpinus fossils were present from the Eocene to Pliocene with disjunctive distribution in the North Temperate Zone, which broadly reflected the present distribution pattern and probably demonstrates the tolerance of Carpinus to environmental change.