Friday, December 08, 2006

Stewartias, monodelpha, pseudocamellia & rostrata

I mentioned previously that I missed buying 3 good sized about 6-7 feet tall Stewartia pseudocamellias at a plant auction. In a moment of indecision the auctioneer slammed down his gavel and the plants were sold for $45 each. The lone bidder seemed determined to buy these small trees so I don't think I would have gotten them for the $50 max I was prepared to bid.

Oh well, I did the next best thing and mail ordered three different Stewartias from the Big Dipper Farms. The tiny trees arrived earlier in the fall all of about a foot to eighteen inches high. They were planted in a sheltered place next to the camellias so hopefully they will survive the winter. New buds have formed so I'm hoping they will do well.

The Stewartias have a flower that looks like a camellia thus the pseudocamellia name. They also have an attractive mottled bark that looks much like a small version of sycamores or guavas. They are native to North America and Eastern Asia. Malacodendron and ovata are N. Americans species and the monodelpha, pseudocamellia from Japan and Korea. Sinensis is native to China. I don't know where rostrata hales from but it's probably an E. Asia species. Found this info on rostrata apparently another name for S. sinensis: from the UBC Botanical Garden site S. sinensis purportedly has a scent too so that would make it a doubly attractive plant. They vary in hardiness from zones 7-10 and 6-10 so should be planted in a protected place in the yard.

Here's a U.Conn site that shows the beautiful bark. Click on the small thumbnails on the left.

S. rostrata/sinensis, has the dianthus in the background. S. pseudocamellia has the red fall leaves and S. monodelpha with no leaves.

I'm excited to see how they'll do in the Spring.


Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Another beautiful acidic soil-lover! Ki, I've always thought the Pieris and Stewartia were lovely. My gardens have been in cold and/or alkaline places, so looking at your great photos will have to satisfy my plant lust.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

9:37 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie,
I hope you don't have the caleche hard pan clay that my brother-in-law has in NM. It takes him hours of work with a pick to dig a hole big enough to plant! I've tried planting neutral to alkaline plants with not much success so I've quit trying. But you can grow loquats! and probably mangos, avocados and papaya? Thanks for stopping by.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

We've hit some caliche in this yard- less than at our last Austin house which had plenty of it. The more scenic areas on the West side of the city have tons of it.

I guess we all want to grow things that thrive somewhere else! Blueberries don't grow here, but a Texas-type grows in the more acid soils of East Texas. We'd been growing our Loquat in a deck container for over 4 years, and planted it in the ground soon after we moved to this house. Whether we get fruit each year depends on when and how deep the freezes arrive. Same thing with our fig trees. We're way too cold for mangos, avocados or papayas.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

9:56 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie,
I bet if you started papayas indoors and planted them outdoors as soon as possible with some shelter you could get some fruit before the winter. If memory serves me papayas would start giving fruit in 9 months. Hey just like a human baby.

5:48 PM  

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