Stewartia rostrata (Beaked Stewartia)

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technicalTechnical Description


Type: Deciduous tree
Hardiness Zone: 6-7
Sunlight: Partial sun to partial shade
Soil Moisture: Well drained
Soil pH: Acid to neutral
Flowering: May to June
Flowers: White with orange stamen
Leaves: Red, purple and yellow fall color
Height: 15 to 30 feet





Shrubs or small trees with ascending branches to ca. 10 m., usually with serval branches from the base; periderm on young growth non-exfoliating, the bark slate-gray, tight with close shallow fissures; winter buds compressed, ca. 5 mm. long with 2 or 3 finely pubescent imbricated scales. Petioles (2-) 4-6 (-9) mm. long, shallowly grooved on the adaxial surface; leaf blades ovate to elliptic, (2-) 6-10.5 cm. long, (1.2-) 2.5-4.5 cm. wide, with acuminate apices, rounded bases, and serrate margins, the teeth with apiculate tips; lower surfaces of the blades with scattered long hairs, particularly on the elevated midvein, and with tufts of short hairs in the axils of the midvein and lateral veins. Flowers axillary, pedicels 5-7 mm. long; bracts subtending the calyx foliaceous, subopposite, (12-) 15-20 mm. long, (6-) 8-12 mm. wide, ovate with acuminate apices and irregularly undulating margins, persistent. Sepals 5, connate at the base, the free lobes similar to the bracts in outline, ovate to obovate or orbicular with acute or sometimes rounded apices and irregularly undulating margins, 12-18 mm. long, 7-10 mm. wide; sepals persistent, the calyx becoming lignified at the base, in fruit spreading to strongly reflexed beneath the capsule, often clasping the twig below. Petals 5, connate at the base, 2.8-3.8 cm. long, 2-3 cm. wide, obovate to suborbicular with erose margins and cuneate bases, the abaxial surfaces finely sericeous. Stamens numerous, the filaments up to 25 mm. long, connate at the base into a tube 6-9 mm. long, the tube adnate to the corolla; free portions of the filaments finely pubescent at base; anthers yellow. Ovary subglobose or globose, 5- or 6-angled, densely sericeous at the base, glabrous above, ca. 3 mm. long at anthesis, tapering into a glabrous style; styles 16-18 mm. long, terminating in 5 or 6 marginally ciliate stigmatic arms, each arm ca. 1.5 mm. long. Capsules subglobose or globose with a rostrate apex, strongly 5- or 6-angled, the body of the capsule 12-16 mm. long, 14-16 mm. broad with the persistent portion of the style projecting 5-8 (-10) mm. above; capsule finely and obscurely pubescent at the base, brownish with a purplish red apex at maturity, becoming dark, blackish brown with age, dehiscing apically into 5 or 6 locules, the locule walls 7-9 mm. wide. Seeds 4 per locule, planoconvex, 8-10 mm. long, 6-7 mm. wide, obovate in outline, notched at the base and narrowly winged , the wing ca. 2 mm. wide at the apex; raised central portion finely rugose, yellowish brown, becoming reddish- or chestnut-brown.




globalsm GLOBAL DISTRIBUTIONRostrata GlobalDistribution

Moderate elevations in the mountains of Chekiang, eastern Hunan, and Kiangsi Provinces, China; cultivated in western gardens.











Descriptions from Stephen A. Spongberg, 1974, A Review of Deciduous-Leaved Species of Stewartia (Theaceae), Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 55: 182-214.