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Stewartia

Theaceae
Deciduous, Trees

Native to Japan and Korea. Slow-growing, all-season performers that show off fresh green leaves in spring, white flowers resembling single camellias in summer, and colorful foliage in fall. In winter, a distinctive pattern of bare branches is on show, as is smooth bark that flakes off in varying degrees, depending on the species. All grow best in acid, organically enriched soil. Good in woodland gardens and as foreground specimens against a backdrop of larger, darker-leafed trees.

Stewartia monadelpha

This tree grows to 25 ft. tall and 20 ft. wide, with slender, upward-angled branches. Leaves are 1 1/2–3 in. long, turn brilliant red in fall. Small (to 1/2-in.) flowers. Rich brown, scaly bark when young; smooth cinnamon-colored bark when older.

Stewartia pseudocamellia koreana
Stewartia pseudocamellia koreana

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Stewartia pseudocamellia

This tree has a pyramidal form; may reach 30–40 ft. tall and 20–25 ft. wide after many years. Leaves are 2 1/2–3 in. long; turn orange-red to purple in autumn. Cup-shaped, 2 1/2-in.-wide flowers have orange anthers. Very showy bark: it flakes off to show a patchwork of green, gray, brown, rust, terra-cotta, and cream. Members of the Koreana group (S. koreana, S. pseudocamellia koreana) have orange or orange-red fall color and 3-in.-wide flowers that open out flatter than the usual.

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