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Stewartia malacodendron,
Silky Stewartia

Silky Stewartia is a slow-grower, reportedly best in acid soil (pH 4.5 to 6.5) with ample moisture and high organic matter content. But trees are also found growing very well without irrigation in poor-quality, compacted clay soil. Some leaf-burn may be evident in drier summers in full sun but this does not appear to impact the tree permanently. Silky Stewartia may prefer some shade in warm climates where it develops a more open habit but does quite well in full-day sun forming a dense, dark green head of foliage. It can withstand full sun provided roots are allowed to explore unlimited soil space.

Trees occur naturally in the non-coastal portion of the panhandle of Florida east to the Apalachicola River.

Transplant as a small tree from a field nursery in early spring or from a container of any size at any time. Plants can be tissue cultured and acclimated to the greenhouse and landscape. The national champion is in the panhandle of Florida.

Prune the tree so trunks and branches will not rub each other. Remove some secondary branches on main branches with included bark. This reduces the likelihood of the main branch splitting from the tree later when it has grown to become an important part of the landscape. Locate the tree properly, taking into account the ultimate size, since the tree looks best if it is not pruned to control size. The tree can enhance any landscape with its delightful spring flush of foliage. It can be the centerpiece of your landscape if properly located.

Silky Stewartia Photos

Silky Stewartia

Silky Stewartia