This false camellia – Korean stewartia is very similar to its Japanese sister stewartii pseudocamellia. It comes from moist woodlands of Korea and it is a tall shrub flowering in summer and has beautiful autumn foliage.stewartia, about 7 cm across, camellia-like, with 5 pure white petals and a centre full of rich yellow stamens. Unlike the Japanese stweartia these flowers open up nearly flat.
As it belongs to the same family as tea (camellia sinensis) the leaves look alike. They are elliptic, finely toothed, dark green. Young leaves have bronze margins when young until mid-summer, changing to yellow, orange, purple and red in the autumn.
Very impressive is the pealing bark which flakes off in irregular puzzle piece shapes leaving a mottled appearance with grey, orange and brown shades. Its maximum height is about 9m in Asia but it usually keeps much smaller in our climate – 4-6m. It has slow, upright growth and is well branched.
It is very hardy but dislikes windy locations. It needs light, peaty soil with plenty of humus, always moist. Since it is difficult to transplant find it the best spot in your garden where it will linger forever and ever. If you have a small plant and have not decided where to grow it yet transplant it to a larger container only every year until you find the perfect location. Fully hardy to -29°C (USDA zone 5).
Chlumec 23, 382 32 Velešín, Czech republic