Native to: Japan
Hardiness: Zone 5-8
Description: A compact tree that fits easily into the average garden, the Japanese Stewartia is an outstandingly versatile plant which offers attractions for every season of the year. The foliage emerges as a bronze-purple in spring, turning to attractive dark green as it matures and then colors reddish-orange to burgundy in autumn. Cup-shaped, orange-centered, white blooms that measure 2.5 inches across open in succession from early to mid summer. Wintertime, when the leaves are off the branches, showcases the exceptional bark that peels off in gray, orange and reddish-brown strips to give the trunk a handsome, mottled look.
Left to its own devices, this plant forms a pyramidal tree 30-40 feet tall and 15-30 feet wide, but with pruning it can be maintained as a multi-stemmed shrub no more than 12 feet high. Use it as a specimen planting in a partially shaded lawn or set it next to a patio or deck where you’ll get full benefit of its 12-month display. Stewartia’s dappled shade makes it a good partner for underplantings of bold-leaved hostas, or astilbes such as ‘Fanal’ or ‘Peach Blossom’ which bloom at the same time as the tree.
Habitat: Prefers full, morning sun to partial shade and a well-drained, evenly moist soil.
Care: Transplant when small; slow to establish and typically slow-growing while young.
Find it: Walk up to the greenhouse and turn right on the access road. Keep an eye to the right to find one, and walk to the left on the next access road to find the other. Take a picture and tag us using #foundatthebartlett when you find it!