A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Stuartia pteropetiolata W.-C. Cheng

Modern name

Stewartia pteropetiolata W.C. Cheng


Hartia sinensis Dunn

An evergreen shrub or tree from 20 to 50 ft high, its young shoots silky-hairy at first, becoming glabrous and afterwards brown or greyish. Leaves alternate, 3 to 5 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide, elliptical inclined to ovate or obovate, pointed, more or less rounded at the base, toothed, each tooth tipped with a dark gland, dark glossy green and glabrous above, paler, conspicuously veined and at first silky-hairy beneath (chiefly on the midrib), becoming nearly or quite glabrous; stalk up to 34 in. long, hairy, winged. Flowers white, 1 to 112 in. wide, produced singly in early summer from axillary buds on short leafy shoots, each on a stout stalk 14 to 12 in. long. Petals five, roundish ovate with jagged margins. Calyx-lobes ovate, silky. Fruit conical, woody, 34 in. long. Stamens very numerous, united at the base to form a short tube; anthers golden yellow. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 510.

Native of S. China; discovered by Augustine Henry in S.E. Yunnan, and originally described in a new genus, Hartia, united with Stuartia in 1934. Forrest collected this species in 1912, west of Tengyueh, on the border between Yunnan and Burma, and probably introduced it in that year. The material portrayed in the Botanical Magazine came from a plant grown under glass in the Edinburgh Botanic Garden, which had been raised from F. 24406, collected in 1924 on the Shweli-Salween divide at 8-9,000 ft, where it grew as a shrub 10 to 20 ft high; the leaves, Forrest remarked, were used locally for making tea.

S. pteropetiolata is a very tender species, only suitable for the mildest parts. It has succeeded remarkably well at Caerhays Castle in Cornwall, where there are five specimens, three of them about 58 ft high and 212 to 314 ft in girth (1966).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

Measurements of four of the Caerhays specimens are: 80 × 3 + 212 ft, 70 × 414 ft, 66 × 514 ft at 3 ft and 60 × 312 ft (1984).



Other species in the genus