Stewartia pseudocamellia
Common Name: Japanese stewartia 
Type: Tree
Family: Theaceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 20.00 to 40.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Best grown in evenly moist, organically rich, moderately acidic, well-drained sandy loams in full sun to part shade. Does not perform well in heavy, clay soils, dry soils, thin, rocky soils and soils with poor drainage. Requires consistent moisture and is intolerant of drought. Partly shaded conditions are preferred in climates with hot, humid summers. Afternoon sun in particular should be avoided in these climates. Hardy in Zones 5b(-15°F)-8. Site in a location sheltered from winter winds if grown in the colder end of its hardiness range. Plants are slow to establish and transplanting success is highest with young plants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Stewartia pseudocamellia, commonly called Japanese stewartia, is a small, slow-growing, pyramidal, deciduous tree native to the mountains of Japan and the Korean peninsula. Specimens in the wild can reach 50-60' tall, but in cultivation typically mature over time to 20-40' tall with a slightly narrower canopy width. Can also be grown as a large, multi-stemmed shrub reaching 12-15' tall. Cup-shaped, camellia-like white flowers (to 2.5" diameter) with showy orange-yellow anthers appear in early summer. Elliptic, dark green foliage (to 3" long) turns attractive shades of reddish-orange and burgundy in autumn. Exfoliating, reddish-brown bark provides good winter color and interest. Stewartia, Camellia, and Franklinia are all members of the tea family (Theaceae) and have similar flowers.

Genus name honors John Stuart, 16th century Scottish botanist and 3rd Earl of the Isle of Bute.

Species name means false camellia.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Borders, lawn or patio specimens, woodland gardens.