Stewartia pteropetiolata W. C. Cheng

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Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

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'Stewartia pteropetiolata' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2020-10-27.



  • Hartia sinensis Dunn (not Stewartia sinensis Rehder &
  • E. H. Wilson)
  • Hartia serratisepala Hu.


Narrowing gradually to a point.
Sharply pointed.
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Lying flat against an object.
Dry dehiscent fruit; formed from syncarpous ovary.
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
midveinCentral and principal vein in a leaf.
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
Egg-shaped solid.
Stalk of a single flower.
Leaf stalk.
Covered in hairs.
With saw-like teeth at edge. serrulate Minutely serrate.
Generally an elongated structure arising from the ovary bearing the stigma at its tip.


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Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Stewartia pteropetiolata' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2020-10-27.

Evergreen tree, 6–15 m. Bark dull grey brown, finely fissured; twigs greyish-yellow to red-flushed, pubescent in first year, becoming purplish and glabrous in second year. Leaves 6–10(–13) × 2.5–4.5(–5) cm, leathery, elliptic to oblong, upper surface glossy green, glabrous, lower surface paler, sparsely pubescent or glabrescent, with longer hairs on the midrib, 10–12 pairs of veins, prominent above, impressed below, margin serrate, apex abruptly acute to shortly acuminate, base rounded; petiole 1–1.5 cm, grey-pubescent, with wings c. 3 mm wide. Flowers solitary; pedicel 8–10 mm, appressed pubescent; bracteoles persistent, elliptic, 5–7.5 × 3–3.5 mm, appressed pubescent; sepals 1–1.5 × 0.7–1 cm, long-ovate with apex acute, margins serrulate, purplish-red, with silky white hairs on both surfaces; corolla c. 3 cm across, white, lobes 1.5–1.8 × 1–1.3 cm, broadly obovate to suborbicular, apex rounded, white silky at the base on the outer surface; filaments fused at their base, 7–9 mm; style c. 5 mm; capsule long-ovoid, with acute point c. 5 mm long; seeds narrowly winged. Flowering April-May (China). Min & Bartholomew 2007.
Distribution CHINA: Yunnan
Habitat forests, 1200–2600 m asl
USDA Hardiness Zone 9–10
RHS Hardiness Rating H2–3
Conservation status Not evaluated

Bean recorded that S. pteropetiolata was discovered by Augustine Henry and introduced by Forrest from western Yunnan in 1912: ‘the leaves, Forrest remarked, were used locally for making tea.’ A subsequent introduction (F24406) from the Shweli-Salween divide at 2400–2700 m seems to have been the source for a group of trees at Caerhays Castle, of which one 10 m specimen still survives (Johnson 2011), though Bean recorded five up to 17.5 m. It is very tender and unsuitable for most parts of our area, but it flourishes at Villa Taranto, Italy and the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart (Hsu et al. 2008). A young specimen of Vietnamese origin was recorded to be then thriving in the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden in 2008, but that and other Vietnamese specimens have not survived (D. Justice pers. comm. 2016); however, individuals at Piroche Plants, British Columbia survived –6° C in the 2015–16 winter (pers. comm . via D. Justice 2016). The creamy-white flowers are on the small side and are somewhat obscure below the foliage but turn yellow as they fall, and are then rather attractive as they lie on the ground (T. Hudson pers. comm. 2016). They can be followed by attractive red fruits (Hsu et al. 2008); the red tinge is also picked up in the red new shoots and winged petioles.


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