NATIVE RANGE AND HABITAT
Tall stewartia is native to Japan.
Not native to Kentucky.
Growth Habit and Form
Tall stewartia grows 20 to 25 feet in height in as many years, its young pyramidal crown maturing into an open, multi-trunked form with somewhat horizontal branches.
Leaves are alternate, simple, and elliptic to oblong-elliptic with saw-toothed margins. The 1.5 to 3-inch-long leaves are dark green above and grayish green and pubescent (covered with short soft hairs) below. The leaves cast light shade beneath this deciduous tree and develop outstanding deep red fall color.
In June small, cupped flowers appear, opening over a four-week period. Flowers are 1 to 1.5 inches wide, white with yellow stamens, and subtended by large leafy bracts. Flowers tend to remain cupped and do not open as wide as Korean stewartia (S. koreana) and Japanese stewartia (S. pseudocamellia)
Fruit is a 5-valved, ½ inch long, woody, beaked capsule covered with hairs.
Attractive, smooth, cinnamon-brown bark helps to make tall stewartia quite striking in the winter landscape.
Wild and Cultivated Varieties
Tall stewartia is unsurpassed as a specimen, but can also be included in a shrub border, planted near a patio or deck, or used as a multi-trunked street tree. Set it off as a specimen by placing it in a bed of low, evergreen ground cover.
Hardy to USDA Zone 5(6) to 8.