The reliable stewartia

A young Stewartia monadelpha in fall
A young Stewartia monadelpha in fall

I’ve been enjoying the fall color in my garden. Specifically my stewartias. If you’re not familiar with the Stewartia genus, you must become soon. Stewartias are the most reliable, elegant, low-maintenance tree around. In past gardens and my current one, I’ve grown Stewartia mondadelpha, Stewartia pseudocamellia and Stewartia rostrata. They are lovely for their shapely crowns and disease-resistant ways. I rarely prune them except to remove old dead wood. In June, they bloom in white, slightly fragrant flowers, in winter their bark exfoliates lightly in patches (on monadelpha the bark is cinnamon colored, on pseudocamellia it’s patchy gray, white and green, on rostrata it’s cinnamon and gray). In fall, the leaves turn brilliant shades of orange and red. Check out the photos from my pseudocamellia and my monadelpha. I use these in clients’ yards all of the time. I adore them. They are generally slower growing trees that will top out after decades at 25-30 feet. They’re hardy to about zone 6.

Stewartia pseudocamellia in fall
Stewartia pseudocamellia in fall

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