Japanese Stewartia, which comes from the mountains of Japan, is a pretty, ornamental tree well known for its flowers. It grows to a height of about 30 feet with an equal expanse. The tree is naturally textured, needs no pruning, and is highly appreciated as a landscape tree on account of its flowers, colorful bark and autumn foliage.
The beauty of the blossoms lies in their frilled white petals with clusters of yellow and orange stamens jutting out of the white background. The flowers are not long-lasting but they keep on blooming at regular intervals across 3 to 4 weeks. The buds are pearl-like while the flowers are 2 to 2 ½ inches in size and joined at the base.
The green leaves turn yellow, red and purple before they finally fall off in autumn. The bark has a tendency to flake off and reveal a rich combination of gray, cinnamon and brown which looks particularly attractive against a background of snow. The branches, which are set neatly, add to the looks of the tree.
The tree, which is known as snow cups in local Japanese language, belongs to the tea family. The other plants included in this variety are the commercially grown tea bushes, and the Camellia.
Stewartia requires cool microclimate, a little moisture and acidic soil. The manure that suits it most is compost bark mulch. It does not stand excessive water or dryness. In early stages, that is, up to three years it needs proper grooming including proper watering and lighting. After that the tree grows on its own. It needs no special care or attention. One plus point is that it is not susceptible to diseases and pests. This reduces the pressure on the owner who does not have to examine the tree at regular intervals.