8. JAPANESE STEWARTIA
Japanese Stewartia is a small tree, native to Japan & Korea, rarely reaching 30 ft. in height. This "boxed" container helps prevent soil compaction, and the native plants below the tree support additional insect and plant life. This is Stewartia in Spring, just beginning to leaf out.
SPRING FLOWER BUDS
As the Stewartia finishes leafing out in late spring, you will notice round buds - quite a few in some seasons - these will open into camellia-like flowers in July.
The summer canopy of Stewartia pseudocamellia is composed of both leaves and flower buds, and flowers will soon begin to peek out from the foliage.
Soft white petals surround a center of brilliant orange anthers in this early summer (July) arrival. The flower is strikingly similar to the Franklin Tree (also in The Westmoor Arboretum, flowering late August) and both trees are members of the Tea family.
The fruit of Japanese Stewartia is small and pointed, and begins as a green capsule that eventually turns brown and then bursts while still on the tree. After releasing its seeds, the empty brown capsules often over-winter on the tree.
The 3 inch leaves are elliptical and dark green, while the mildly exfoliating bark provides 4-season interest. Trees grown in partial shade exhibit darker bark, but this specimen is grown in full sun.
The habit (branching structure) of Stewartia belies its full summer canopy shape. This is a narrow, graceful tree with 4-season interest.