Featured Plant No. 2 – Stewartia pseudocamellia

Stewartia pseudocamellia

This magnificent Stewartia pseudocamellia tree is one of the best examples of Autumn colour at Chartwell right now.  It can be found in the corner border of the Croquet Lawn and is well worth seeking out.  The foliage is gradually turning into a smoldering mass of oranges, pinks and reds, but as this is a deciduous tree, those leaves will eventually fall so make sure you catch it while you can.  This show-off of a tree also has attractive peeling bark which goes through shades of pink, red and grey, while its rose-like white flowers with creamy yellow stamens of mid summer have just disappeared.

Stewartia trees prefer moist but well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter and humus.  They like their feet in soil of a slightly acid to neutral disposition.  They’re not picky about full sun or dappled shade but they do need some shelter from very strong winds if possible and hate being transplanted.  If you want to make more of these wonderful specimens then now is the right time to try and propagate by layering any flexible stems.

If you think you like the look of this tree, Steve, one of our gardeners, is leading some woodland walks over the next week or so, so if you can get yourself involved with one of those you might be able to spot some more trees with their Autumn wardrobe on…


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