Silky camellia, Virginia stewartia
USDA Symbol: STMA
USDA Native Status:
Silky camellia is a large, open-branched shrub growing up to 10 feet tall. Leaves are alternate, deciduous, 2–4 inches long and half as wide, silky below, and distinctly veined. Flowers are white to cream-colored, 2–3 inches across, and saucer-shaped. The petals are crimped at the margins and wider at the tip. The numerous dark-purple stamen filaments and bluish anthers are conspicuous.
This genus, related to the evergreen camellias, honors John Stuart (1713-92), the Earl of Bute and a patron of botany. The species name is Greek for soft tree, referring to the silky hairs covering the lower leaf surface.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Class: 6-12 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Flowers are white to cream-colored.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TX , VA
Native Distribution: Coastal plain from s.e. VA to FL & extreme e. TX
Native Habitat: Wooded banks & hillsides
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Description: Acid, humus-rich, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Silky camellia prefers deep shade during the heat of the day, but thrives on early morning sun.
PropagationDescription: One method of propagation by seed is to sow fresh seeds in cold frame or greenhouse and keep the seedlings lightly shaded the first year. Another method is to double-stratify the seeds and fall sow in a well-protected spot. Germination may take two year
Seed Collection: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
LAMTREE FARM - Warrensville, NC
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
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Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Stewartia malacodendron in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Stewartia malacodendron in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Stewartia malacodendron
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff