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Stewartia malacodendron (Silky Camellia)

Silky Camellia, Virginia Stewartia, Round-fruited Stewartia

AGM Award
Stewartia malacodendron, Silky Camellia, Virginia Stewartia, Round-fruited Stewartia, White flowers, fall color, red leaves

A delightful addition to almost any garden, Stewartia malacodendron (Silky Camellia) is a bushy deciduous shrub or small tree with dense foliage of ovate, dark green leaves, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), silky underneath. Delicate, saucer-shaped, white flowers, 3 in. wide (8 cm), adorned with showy purple stamens and blue anthers, appear in mid-spring to early summer in the leaf axils. Resembling camellias, they give way to small, woody, egg-shaped capsules containing lustrous brown seeds. The foliage turns brilliant shades of greenish-yellow to yellow in fall. The shedding of leaves exposes the lightly striped cinnamon-colored bark, adding winter interest. Slow-growing, Silky Camellia has a name for being difficult to cultivate. It makes, however, an excellent accent or specimen plant.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Typically grows up to 10-18 ft. tall (300-540 cm) and 15-25 ft. wide (450-750 cm)
  • Thrives in woodland conditions, favoring moist, humus-rich, acidic, well-drained soil in partial shade. Silky camellia prefers deep shade during the heat of the day but performs well in the early morning sun. The roots must be fully shaded from the hot sun, and they resent disturbance or transplanting.
  • Great flowering shrub for woodland gardens, city gardens, or cottage gardens.
  • Virtually pest and disease free
  • Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer or semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer. Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold-frame in fall.
  • No routine pruning is necessary. Remove diseased, damaged, congested, or crossing shoots.
  • Native to the southeastern United States.

Requirements

Hardiness 7 - 9
Heat Zones 6 - 9
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Theaceae
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 12' - 18'
(3.7m - 5.5m)
Spread 15' - 25'
(4.6m - 7.6m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Southwest, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Arkansas, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas
Tolerance Full Shade
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
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Recommended Companion Plants

Dicentra eximia (Fringed Bleeding Heart)
Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel)
Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush Blueberry)
Rhododendron canescens (Mountain Azalea)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 7 - 9
Heat Zones 6 - 9
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Theaceae
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 12' - 18'
(3.7m - 5.5m)
Spread 15' - 25'
(4.6m - 7.6m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Southwest, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Arkansas, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas
Tolerance Full Shade
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

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