Japanese Stewartia – Stewartia pseudocamellia


General:  Native to Japan, stewartia is a deciduous, slow growing tree with a slight pyramidal growing habit that will grow to 20-30 ft.

Leaves: Alternate. Dark green elliptical, mildly serrulate leaves that turn a bright red to reddish purple in the fall.

Flowers: White solitary flowers, with 5-6 petals and yellow stamens open up in June-July. Flowers open wider, more of a flattened look, than most other species of Stewartia. Here at Great Hill, our average bloom time is July 5.

Fruit:  Inconspicuous

BarkExfoliating bark, which ranges in color from soft grays and tans to orange and reddish browns.

Attributes: A wonderful specimen plant, which should not be hidden in the landscape, Stewartia pseudocamellia offers beautiful flowers in the summer, leaves that turn a brilliant shade of red in the fall, and bark which serves as an interest all year round, especially in the winter.


Hardiness:  Zones 5- 7.

Growing Conditions: They prefer a partly shaded to full sun area, in which their roots are shaded during the hottest periods of the day. They particularly like sheltering from other trees to block high winds. They favor a rich, moist, well-drained, acidic loam.

Maintenance:  Minimal

Transplanting: Difficult. It prefers not to be moved. But we have had no reported problems when the plant has been dug during the spring, before bud break.

Our Experience

Experience at Great Hill
Overall, we have been successful growing Stewartia pseudocamellia. Some books report it as USDA Zones 6-7 others at 5-7, but here at Great Hill (Zone 6) we have several growing which have had no noticeable winter dieback or other problems related to winter hardiness. S. pseudocamellia has been reported as the most heat tolerant of the stewartias.



Stewartia Bloom Data

YearBud BreakFull BloomBloom Drop
2020June 13July 3July 25
2021June 1June 25July 28
2022No Bloom
2023June 10June 30July 15