Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Silky Camellia
Stewartia malacodendron

Family: Theaceae (tee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stewartia (stew-ART-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: malacodendron (mah-lah-koh-DEN-dron) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

Unknown - Tell us

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)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
By air layering
By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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Thumbnail #1 of Stewartia malacodendron by passiflora_pink

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Thumbnail #3 of Stewartia malacodendron by JiminRingoes


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Dec 29, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A beautiful large shrub with superbly beautiful flowers and a reputation for miffiness. Root rot seems to be its Achilles' heel. I'd make sure it has good drainage.

"This is a finicky species to culture and I have failed on four occasions."---Michael Dirr.

The co-national champions are 15' by 24' in Chesapeake, VA and 19' by 24' in Ponce de Leon, FL.

Native to the southeastern US.

Positive Monocromatico On Mar 30, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is a tall shrub, native from North America, yet to become a popular plant due to the difficulties in propagating it.

It has small, smooth leaves all through the branches. The flowers are solitary, with 5 white petals and a purple spot in the middle. There are many purple, or blue stamens.

It grows up to 5m tall, but requires some shade. It is frost tolerant, likes well drained soil. Do not overwater it.


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

Anniston, Alabama
Florala, Alabama
Opp, Alabama
Pelham, Alabama
Clermont, Kentucky
West Tisbury, Massachusetts
Ringoes, New Jersey

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