Lottah Nursery Tasmania, Australia

Stewartia sinensis

Syn. Stuartia sinensis, 'Chinese Stewartia'

Flowers are cupped, pure white with contrasting anthers, measuring 60 mm across opening in early Summer; reported to be fragrant although ours has no discernable fragrance. We found the species (or clone) to be highly floriferous with up to 12 flowers along a 300 mm stem.

Reported to have the smoothest bark, almost marble like. Dirr waxes lyrical over the bark in his book which we are able to recommend.

Trees in the wild are reported to exceed 7 m but mature size under cultivation is expected to be around 5 m. Our experience is that young plants make faster growth than the related S. malocodendron and pseudocamellia.

Started flowering for us in the 7th year when standing nearly 3 m high with stem diameter of 50 cm.

Like S. pseudocamelia this is not a tree for instant gratification - there is a 5-6 year wait for the first flowers, and it would take several decades to mature into its full glory displaying the bark characteristics.

Good descriptions may be found in Dirr, M., Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia

(click on thumbnail for larger image)

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Stewartia sinensis flower

60410-4237 (1, 8, 37, 141)