March 2014 Plant Profile: Stewartia sinensis

March 10th, 2014 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes
Photo by Mitch Evans

Photo by Mitch Evans

It may seem odd that we’re profiling a plant we currently don’t have yet at UWBG, but soon everyone will be able to see it in a very prominent spot at the Center for Urban Horticulture. After over 10 years in its place, the 2nd of two Parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood) in the Soest Garden will be removed to make room for a new tree that will take its place for the next 10 year cycle to cast part shade in Bed 2. Curation has selected the exquisite and rare Stewartia sinensis.

Many keen gardeners and horticulturists are familiar with the more common Stewartia pseudocamellia and the stunning bark of S. monodelpha. This Chinese stewartia seems to have been overlooked in the trade as descriptions state that the flowers are a hair smaller than that of S. pseudocamellia and monodelpha and the fact that it may be less hardy than the two species may also have contributed to its status as a collector’s item destined mainly for taxonomic collections.  It has the same exquisite white blooms with the yellow stamens and the trunk of this small tree is truly exceptional with pretty peeling bark and a magnificent marbling pattern as the plant ages.

Be on the lookout for this stunning species. It will be years until it casts the kind of shade the underplantings of herbaceous perennials prefer, but the eventual effect will be quite dramatic.

 

 

 

 

Common Name:  Chinese Stewartia
Location: Soest Garden Bed 2
Origin: Central China
Height and Spread: 20-25′ high x 15-20′ wide
Bloom/Fruit Time: June-July

 

 

 

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Notice of Garden Renovation: Soest Garden Specimen Tree

October 4th, 2011 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

Our Persian Ironwood tree slated to be replaced later this fall/winter

So after 13 years in the same raised bed, it’s time that one of our Persian Ironwood trees (Parrotia persica) be removed and replaced with another species.

It was suggested that every ten years or so, the specimen tree would be changed out to showcase different species that could be utilized to create the part shade environment intended for the perennials planted below. There’s also concern that a mature tree’s roots could damage the concrete wall if allowed to get large.

After leaf-drop this fall/winter, we will close off the Soest Garden for a day or so and have the tree removed. Some of the soil will be replace (and perennials moved temporarily, of course) and our new tree, a American smoke tree Continus obovatus, will be planted.

We will begin digging up perennials shortly and keeping them in the nursery until they can be replanted in the same bed. Signs will be posted describing the project and further notice will be made when the date of renovation is determined.

CUH Grounds Staff

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