Stewartia pseudocamellia

Japanese Stewartia




  • native to Japan

Habit and Form

  • deciduous
  • small to medium tree
  • pyramidal to oval outline
  • often multi-trunked or branching low

Summer Foliage

  • alternate, elliptical with fine serrations
  • deep green color

Autumn Foliage

  • very good show
  • colors yellow, red and purple


  • solitary blooms June-August
  • white petals with orange anthers
  • like a white Camellia bloom
  • individual blooms fall quickly but many open in succession


  • brown, pointed capsule
  • triangular with 4-5 angles
  • persistent, but not ornamental


  • older bark exfoliates
  • camouflage pattern orange, green, grey
  • smooth, muscled texture


  • enriched organic soils with good drainage
  • even moisture
  • shelter from afternoon sun
  • move as a small plant; difficult to establish

Landscape Uses

  • specimen in shrub borders, lawns
  • place where can be viewed all year


  • does not establish easily
  • dislikes intense heat and drought
  • often expensive

ID Features

  • flattened, divergent buds
  • young stems zig-zag
  • exfoliating bark
  • persistent pointed capsules
  • white camellia-like blooms in summer


  • by seed
  • by cuttings


'Ballet' - A selection out of the Polly Hill Arboretum on Martha's Vineyard, MA, this plant is unique due to its more spreading habit and larger flowert, to almost 4" wide.

'Cascade' - This is a semi-weeping form with genty drooping branches and growing tips. It grows very slowly.

'Milk and Honey' - Occasionally offered by specialty nurseries, this Polly Hill introduction reportedly bears profuse quantities of larger blooms and bark color that is brighter in intensity.

"Pink Form" - This rare selection has light white-pink flowers that open from pinkish buds. The effect is not a great departure from the species, and the plant is rarely seen.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.