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Stewartia sinensis
  • RHS AGM

Chinese stewartia

S. sinensis is a small, spreading deciduous tree with peeling papery brown and purple bark, and ovate leaves 5-10cm long turning bright crimson in autumn. Slightly fragrant white flowers 4-5cm across, open in mid summer

Synonyms
Stewartia gemmata

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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer White Green
Autumn Red
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Theaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Stewartia are deciduous trees or shrubs, often with attractive peeling bark, ovate leaves and showy white flowers; good autumn colour

Name status

Correct

Plant range
C China

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist but well drained, moderately fertile, humus rich, neutral to acid soil in full sun or dappled shade sheltered from strong winds. Resents transplanting

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sow ripe seeds in containers in cold frame in the autumn. Take softwood cuttings in early summer, semi-ripe cuttings in mid- to late summer or try layering in autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Generally trouble free

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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