Japanese Stewartia

Botanical Name: Stewartia pseudocamellia

Alternate Name: Korean Stewartia, Deciduous Camellia

The Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) is a graceful, small to medium sized deciduous tree. It can be grown in a standard form or multi-trunked, and its growth habit is pyramidal and spreading. This tree grows to a height of 20-40 feet tall and 15-30 feet wide.

This tree originates in the mountains of Japan and the Korean peninsula. It is closely related to the genera Camellia and Franklinia – belonging to the same family, the Theaceae. It is named after a Scottish botanist from the sixteenth century, John Stuart. 

Japanese Stewartia is prized for its beautiful summer flowers and luminous fall color. Its blooms appear in June or July. They are cup shaped like the flowers of a Camellia and 2.5 inches wide, with large, bright orange anthers.

The leaves are 3 inches long, elliptical in shape, and a medium to dark green color. The undersides of the leaves are a lighter green. This Japanese Stewartia puts on a vibrant fall foliage display in October, with the inner leaves turning yellow and the outer leaves a glowing orange and red, tinged with purple. The bark is exfoliating and a beautiful orange-brown – providing both winter interest and color.

Not susceptible to any significant diseases or pests.

Height: 20-40 ft.

Width: 15-30 ft.

Shape: Pyramidal

Flower Color: White

Flowering Time: June-July

Fall Color: Orange, Yellow, Purple

Features: Showy fragrant flowers, colorful fall display, winter interest

Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

Watering: Moderate & Regular

Soil: Prefers acidic, rich, moist, well-drained sandy loams. Dislikes clay or rocky soils and poor drainage.

Growth Rate: Slow

USDA Zones: 5-8

Uses: Accent tree, small shade tree, Japanese/Asian gardens

Similar trees: Magnolia x ‘Elizabeth’ (Elizabeth Magnolia), Magnolia x 'Galaxy' (Galaxy Magnolia), Magnolia x brooklynensis 'Yellow Bird' (Yellow Bird Magnolia), Magnolia virginiana 'Daybreak' (Daybreak Magnolia), Magnolia virginiana ‘Jim Wilson’ (Moonglow Magnolia)

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