Stewartia koreana

Korean Stewartia

Theaceae

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Habitat

  • hardy through zone 5
  • Korea an understory tree

Habit and Form

  • a small, deciduous tree
  • 20' to 30' tall
  • relatively dense foliage
  • pyramidal or oval shape
  • upright and spreading branching

Summer Foliage

  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • simple, elliptic leaves
  • dark green color
  • very minute serrations along the margin

Autumn Foliage

  • usually quite showy, but some individual plants don't color well
  • mix or orange, yellow, red and purple

Flowers

  • white flowers with yellow stamens
  • 3" in diameter
  • 5 to 6 petals
  • more open and flattened than S. pseudocamellia
  • blooms in June and July
  • long bloom period

Fruit

  • a hard, woody, pointed capsule
  • dehisces in 5 parts
  • brown color when mature
  • 1.5" to 2" long

Bark

  • very attractive and striking
  • flakes off in irregular puzzle piece shapes
  • color is a mix of steel gray, browns and orange-brown
  • underlying bark is very smooth

Culture

  • full sun for most of the day
  • needs acidic, moist, cool, fertile soils that are well-drained and high in organic matter
  • somewhat difficult to transplant
  • relatively carefree once established
  • trim up lower branches some to make bark more visible

Landscape Use

  • specimen
  • lawn tree
  • for long bloom time in summer when most trees are done blooming
  • for bark
  • for good fall color

Liabilities

  • hard to transplant
  • somewhat slow growing
  • relatively uncommon and expensive to purchase
  • not tolerant of difficult sites

ID Features

  • flaking bark
  • white flowers with yellow stamens in summer
  • branchlets are 2-ranked
  • buds are elongated with hairs at the tips
  • stems with a zigzag pattern

Propagation

  • by cuttings
  • by seed

Cultivars/Varieties

  • none

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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