Phaleria pilistyla has been confused with Phaleria nisidai Kan. (NGF 9564 & 11317, see Hou, 1960a, b) from which it may be distinguished by its often relatively broader lamina, its inflorescence with more numerous flowers (there are less than twelve flowers per inflorescence in Phaleria nisidai), its fewer and smaller involucral bracts, and also by its style that has short hairs along its entire length. Those species of Phaleria with hairy styles have longer hairs only at the very base. Phaleria pilistyla also has 4-merous flowers and a clavate stigma, while Phaleria nisidai has flowers predominantly 5-merous and a capitate stigma only ca. 1 mm. long.