Tree Following, February 2015 – Liz’s Stewartia

Hi, I’m Liz from Lexington, Kentucky, USA and as I don’t have a blog Mike has kindly offered to include my tree following posts here, for which I’m most grateful.

I admit that my tree, a Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia), was an impulse buy. Three years ago my daughter took me to a favourite local garden nursery for a Mother’s Day treat.  There standing close to the entrance was this lovely plant in a pot. It had shiny leaves and the most exquisite pinkish-white buds about to burst into bloom.  It said “I’m yours” and so it was to be.

This tree along with it’s relatives, the Franklinia (named for Ben) and camellia, belong to the tea family.  The camellia-like flowers they share only bloom for a short period of time, but this tree has other features to recommend it such as a lovely fall (autumn) colour.

Liz's Stewartia and Dulcie, Jan' 15It’s in a bed in my back garden and now stands well over five feet high, and is surounded by a healthy stand of wild onions that will be pulled when the ground thaws. I’m not sure how old it is – perhaps others will know when Stewartias first bloom. I would hazard a guess that it’s no more than six years old.  It has seen three winters pass in wildly variable temperatures and so far, so good.

This picture shows it in January being inspected by Dulcie, one of my two dogs. Click on the picture to see a larger image.

In doing my homework I found an interesting tidbit on the Polly Hill Arboretum website. The Stewartia was named for John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute and one of the founders of Kew Gardens. In his botanical classification, Carl Linnaeus misspelled the name, and there are some who have now taken up the cause to have it classified correctly.

See Lucy’s Tree Following post for details of what it’s all about, and this post for other tree followers blog posts for this month.

My thanks to Mike for letting me guest post, and to Lucy for hosting Tree Following.



About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer.
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23 Responses to Tree Following, February 2015 – Liz’s Stewartia

  1. Flighty says:

    Liz hello, and welcome to blogging and tree following. Thanks for doing this enjoyable, and informative, guest post.
    I look forward to reading, and seeing, how your tree progresses through the year. Flighty xx

    • Liz says:

      Thank you, Mike. As you know, I wouldn’t even be doing this without your kind offer and without Lucy’s enthusiasm for tree following. Liz

  2. Your dog, Liz, appears to have become a Tree Follower too. (Though her interests may be different from ours!)

    • Liz says:

      Hi Lucy, I think Dulcie would like to be considered a Tree Follower. It is my other dog, Charley, who considers himself supervisory personnel, however! I look forward to seeing your tree in Weymouth. Thanks, Liz

  3. CJ says:

    It sounds lovely, I’m a big fan of camellias, I shall look forward to seeing this relative in bloom. CJ xx

  4. Jo says:

    This is a tree I’ve never heard of so I shall look forward to following it throughout the year. There are some plants you see at a nursery or garden centre which just have to make their way home with you.

    • Liz says:

      Jo, that is so true, about plants that speak to you (whisper in your ear!) at garden centers and nurseries. That is one reason why I have to ration my visits. I tried a Franklinia a few years ago and it didn’t make it, so it will be interesting to see how the Stewartia fares. Thanks, Liz

  5. menhir1 says:

    Hi Liz,
    Greetings from Scotland, though, not Bute. Your research into the tree is impressive. Mr F (Mike), being a friend from another blog site we were both users of, has led me into a world of flora and fauna enthusiasts on this blog. It’s good to meet you!

    • Liz says:

      Hi Menhir,
      It is nice to meet you too. Greetings from Kentucky where it is cold and dreary today. Mr. F has had me absorbed in recent weeks, learning about “plotting and pondering” and it is with interest and pleasure that I go on to his recommendations and read comments from his blog friends. There is so much to learn! Liz

      • menhir1 says:

        There sure is a lot to learn. I am an interested bystander who does a bit of easy pottering with a herb garden and a few flowers, weather and seasons permitting. 🙂

  6. Joanne says:

    It sounds a lovely tree & a thoughtful gift too x

  7. Liz says:

    Hello Joanne. It is a lovely tree. Fingers crossed that it makes it through the winter and I can show you its glorious bloom. Yes, indeed, that was and is a generous gift. Liz

  8. snowbird says:

    Now that sure sounds like an interesting tree, and what a sweet little dog too!
    Lovely to meet you, maybe you should start a blog!!!xxx

    • Liz says:

      Thank you. The tree is a lovely specimen and so is the dog! I am so in awe of all you bloggers and the amount of time it must take to prepare posts and take photographs, etc. A blog is beyond my proficiency level, I think!

  9. I’ve never seen or heard of this tree, so I look forward to finding out more about it! Sometimes the impulse buys end up far better than those that are planned.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks. I’ve been lucky to see it through two winters, so hope it will perform to expectations this year. Impulse buys are fun, more so, since this one was bought for me!

  10. nikkipolani says:

    Always a delight to follow another tree. And welcome to Flighty’s blog! Nice to meet you, your tree, and your darling Dulcie.

    • Liz says:

      Nikki, I think I have been reading your comments on Flighty’s blog since 2007, so it’s nice to say hello. I was just outside telling my tree that it must perform to high standards and Dulcie says “thank you” for the compliment.

  11. Glo says:

    A welcome, Liz, from me, too! Flighty was instrumental in encouraging me to start a blog, so perhaps you will decide to blog as well. In the meantime, it’s great to learn about you and your tree!

    • Liz says:

      Glo, I remember reading the exchange between the two of you when you started your blog. I am blown away by your creativity in ideas for awards and in your delightful verse. Thanks and hello. Liz

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