The Japanese stewartia’s leaves are dark green and oval-shaped and turn bright shades of red and orange in the fall. In July, the large, 5-petaled, white flowers with golden centers begin to bloom. The tree’s bark is exfoliating and creates patterns of gray, brown, and red-orange colors.
Family: Theaceae (Tea)
Characteristics: The 2- 3 ½ inch long oval-shaped leaves have serrated margins and are dark green. In the fall, leaves turn orange and red. In July, the 5-petaled, white flowers with golden anthers begin to bloom. These flowers are followed by 5-valved, brown seed capsules that split when mature. Bark is red-orange and exfoliates, creating patterns of gray, brown, and red-orange. This tree is pyramidal in youth and becomes rounded with age. It grows 20-40 feet high and wide. The Japanese stewartia may be also grown in cultivation as a 12 foot tall multi-stemmed shrub.
Foliage: Deciduous (leaves lost seasonally)
Geographic Origin: Japan (non-native)
Cultivation Notes: Requires low maintenance. Does best in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist and well-drained soils.
Number on Campus: 7
Sources: Dirr, Morton Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden