Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Korean Stewartia, Japanese Stewartia
Stewartia pseudocamellia var. koreana

Family: Theaceae (tee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stewartia (stew-ART-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: pseudocamellia var. koreana
Additional cultivar information: (Koreana Group)

Synonym:Stewartia koreana

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 46 photos.
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17 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bobbieberecz On May 20, 2014, bobbieberecz from Concrete, WA wrote:

The tag on my Stewartia stated it to be a slow growing tree, so I selected a part shade site as recommended expecting it would remain a bright dappled shade. My soil is fast-draining sandy/loam but this area remains cool and moist (though not at all wet). Like all the plants in this area, the tree unexpectedly took off right from the start. I had amended the soil a few years prior when planning the garden but nothing current. It has continued to grow about 2 feet per year for the past 4 years. I've already had to prune some of the the branches out in order to maintain some brightness to the area for the sake of the other plants. Even so, I had to transplant most of them to other parts of the garden as they required at least dappled shade. The tree gets all morning sun and then is shaded by a very mature and full red Bloodgood maple. The Hostas love growing with this tree as well as flowering, shade-loving ground covers. It wasted no time putting out loads of clean, white, fragrant blossoms and turns a wonderful red color in the fall. I highly recommend this tree.

Positive coriaceous On Jan 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

An outstanding ornamental, beautiful in all seasons. Showy white flowers (in summer, after most flowering trees), often spectacular red fall leaf color, and the most beautiful, multicolored exfoliating bark for winter. A 1997 winner of the Cary Award, set up to promote the best woody plants for New England gardens.

Responds well to light pruning. When it's young, it tends to produce some inconveniently low branches, which stubbornly refuse to get shaded out as the tree matures, but this is easily corrected while it's still young.

This species is not very heat tolerant. All the trees planted on the UG campus and in the botanical garden in Athens, GA (Z7b) have failed.

No significant pests or diseases here.

This tree is not invasive here in Boston, though a few people find some self-sown seedlings. I've checked out the Peter del Tredici article referred to by 3lamma below, and find no support for the claim that this tree is invasive.

Positive HamptonsGardener On Nov 9, 2011, HamptonsGardener from East Hampton, NY wrote:

The fall color is always outstanding. Usually one of the first trees to turn in my NY garden.


Positive rkwright85 On Aug 13, 2011, rkwright85 from Horton, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Beautiful in all seasons. Have seen some branch die-back in Michigan (zone 5) in trees that are planted in the open. Should probably be given some shelter in zone 5.

Positive HPI_John On Dec 2, 2010, HPI_John wrote:

This tree is ideally adapted to the acid soils and maritime climate of the Pacific Northwest, where it's cool enough to be planted in full sun. My 12 year old tree flowers profusely every year without fail and never shows leaf burn or other issues mentioned in the other posts. It has well behaved roots, and its slow growth keeps it in bounds and tidy for many years. With its mottled bark and excellent fall color I highly recommend this tree in this area!

Positive fishingriver On Oct 2, 2010, fishingriver from Excelsior Springs, MO wrote:

Purchased from a quality nurseryman and Growing in Zone 5 , west side, since 2004. The top branch central stem keeps dying, though the tree appears healthy and responds to all seasonal changes. There are 2 dead vertical stems in the top central part of the tree. Can anyone tell me why this occurs? English ivy groundcover is growing at the base. It's October, should I fertilize or have an arborist check the tree.

Positive tamaralea On Jun 12, 2010, tamaralea from Toledo, OH wrote:

My Stewartia has the variegated leaves also. It was purchased in Michigan and it's been planted in my yard since Nov., 2008. When my landscaper came back to check on the tree, he got all excited, thinking that it may be a new species. About 1/3 of the tree has the cream/green variegated leaves. I love the tree. It seems to be doing very well in full sun. The first summer I only had 3 blooms, but I see at least 6 flowers on it this morning.

Positive FertileDelta On Nov 23, 2009, FertileDelta from Chevy Chase, MD wrote:

I want to move our 3-year-old Stewartia, but everything I'm reading says they're tough to transplant. Has anyone had experience?

Positive plantaholic186 On Jan 20, 2008, plantaholic186 from Winnetka, IL wrote:

Mine has only been in the ground for a year, so it's still settling in. However, it looks like a variegated variety- see the foliage detail I uploaded. Only one small branch had green leaves, the rest had a wide cream margin. The margins are uniform throughout the whole plant. I've collected seed to see if I can propagate another variegated plant, and will try cuttings in the spring. Any Stewartia aficionados out there to help me verify if this is, indeed, a variegated variety?

Update: My tree no longer has any 'variegated' leaves, and I have discovered that it was a Potassium deficiency in the soil. Bucholz & Bucholz has Stewartia monadelpha 'Variegata', although that species is not as hardy as S. pseudocamellia.

Positive fdetroch On May 11, 2007, fdetroch from Merelbeke
Belgium (Zone 8a) wrote:

This splendid tree is growing fine in Belgium (zone 8).
There is however no reason to give it its own species name. It is only a variety (form) of Stuartia pseudocamellia (not Stewartia).
Hence the correct designation is: Stuartia pseudocamellia var. koreana

Positive cthulu70 On Apr 19, 2007, cthulu70 from Bangor, ME wrote:

I had the chance to observe a mature specimen at the University of Maine in Orono that has been established for a number of years now, it's getting to be about 20+ feet now, i can't say anything bad about the ornamental features, from what i understand zone 4 is a little iffy when starting out because cold effects the younger plants. once established the tree does well in a well drained moderately moist soil. i just love the fall color of this tree, as well as the flowers and the slightly exfoliate bark. this tree makes the landscape pop with color and ornament all year round.

Negative kfick554 On Jul 5, 2006, kfick554 from Worcester, NY wrote:

We planted a 5 ft. Stewartia in Central NY - Worcester and it did great for two years, even flowered. It was in native soil on a south facing slope with tall trees to the West, plenty of sun. Now it seems to be dead. We are so disappointed. We thought it was getting established after surviving the first few winters... Any ideas? Thanks.

Positive jamesr8 On Jun 22, 2006, jamesr8 from Bridgewater, MA wrote:

Lovely in all seasons. Blooms fall from tree right after opening. We have always had a profuse bloom. Tree is in shaded area close to house. This tree is approximately twenty seven years old and about twenty five feet tall. Never a problem. Bark is an outstanding feature of tree. Tree was here when we moved into home in 1992.

Positive nellie31 On Mar 18, 2006, nellie31 from Sutton, MA wrote:

I planted my tree in full sun about 7 years ago and it far surpasses the specimen at our local botanic garden. It has hundreds of blossoms appearing over 3-4 weeks. The exfoliating bark is lovely in the winter. Everyone wants to know what kind of tree it is. I kept it well-watered the first season in the ground-watering very well once a week. No disease or bugs thus far. I am in central Massachusetts.

Positive aasalas On Jun 19, 2005, aasalas from Lewes, DE (Zone 7b) wrote:

I planted a huge (8-10') specimen early spring 2005. It bloomed profusely both years so far, and has many buds again this year. I planted it in a location with full morning and noon-time sun, and afternoon shade; and it's in sandy soil to which I have added tons (almost literally) of peat moss and composted manure. Like everything else new here close to the beach, I've got it under timed drip irrigation.

Positive bbc On Dec 3, 2004, bbc from Chesterfield, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

Novice landscapers planted this in a very sunny and windy location at the front corner of house. The first year or two the tree struggled with very little flowering and burned leaf tips. Over the last year it has grown much stronger and had beautiful leaf color in the fall. There are a multitude of buds now, and I look forward to another good year.

Neutral 3lamma On Nov 10, 2004, 3lamma wrote:

Beautiful, vigorous plant in New England. The exfoliating bark and late-blooming flowers make it a gorgeous specimen tree. But be aware that if you live in a non-controlled environment, Stewartia has a tendency to self-seed in a woodland locale, so can be hard to control (lawns and urban/suburban environments are fine. Deer do not find it good eating, so again- it makes it a perfect tree for a garden- but is invasive (see a reference in "Arnoldia" by Peter del Tredichi in the October 2003 issue) if you live in or near a forest.

Negative levilyla On Sep 26, 2004, levilyla from Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have had my Stewartis about 5-6 years and it ALWAYS loses it buds (or most of them) before blooming. I have it in partial sun. The buds form and just before opening, they fall to the ground. Very disappointing.

Positive treelover3 On Jul 25, 2004, treelover3 from Minneapolis, MN (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have had this tree in my yard/garden since June 2001. I have not had any hardiness issues with this tree (no die-back at all).

This tree has spectacular orange/red fall color.

This tree blooms in mid/late June and early July (here in Minneapolis). The flowers on the Korean variety of Stewartia pseudocamellia are much flatter than the form from Japan.

Some have given this tree its own species designation (Stewartia koreana), but there is not enough evidence to support this. The tree from Korea is simply a form (or variety) of the Japanese Stewartia.

My soil pH is 6.8

The bark on this tree is spectacular as the tree ages. My tree is all of 4.5' tall and the bark is already starting to exfoliate.

One garden catalog description stated that this tree is: "Arborea perfecta".

Truer words have never been printed. This is truly a four-season tree.

Positive Puplover On Sep 17, 2003, Puplover from Chaplin, CT (Zone 5b) wrote:

I planted mine in full sun this July, the leaves burned a little bit, then recovered. It has grown about 4 or 5 inches. I'll post again when it flowers this spring(I hope)


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Winnetka, Illinois
Clermont, Kentucky
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Chilmark, Massachusetts
Loreto, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
West Tisbury, Massachusetts
Horton, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Excelsior Springs, Missouri
East Hampton, New York
Port Jervis, New York
Linville, North Carolina
Sylva, North Carolina
Toledo, Ohio
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Morrisville, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Bristol, Rhode Island
North, South Carolina
Round Hill, Virginia
Concrete, Washington
Cambridge, Wisconsin

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