Genus Stewartia belongs to the Theaceae family. To date, more than 20 species of this plant have been listed. In the main, they grow in Japan, Korea, China, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, with only a few occurring the eastern part of North America.
Around 6 deciduous species can be cultivated in the Polish climate.
Stewartia is a genus of shrubs or smallish trees with cup-shaped, single, white or cream-coloured flowers reminiscent of camellia flowers. The flowers are somewhat short-lived, but they bloom in succession, so the entire flowering season spans several weeks. The most ornamental species is Stewartia pseudocamellia. Its flowers reach 7cm in diameter and remain in bloom on the plant for a relatively long time. This species also boasts glorious leaves in autumn, light-red in hue, and a novel bark, which it sheds and which is reminiscent of that of the Plane Tree. It is fairly rare to encounter S. serrata in Poland, as it grows in no more than a few gardens. In Rogów, over a dozen specimens can be seen. The flowers are just as beautiful and large as those of S. pseudocamellia; however, the bark is not as ornamental. In Poland, S. rostrata is the most rarely cultivated of the species. Its large flowers are similar to those of S. pseudocamellia, and S. serrata. However, the lower part of the petals are red, while the bracts and sepals are a reddish purple. The least ornamental is S. monadelpha. Susceptible to frost, during a severe winter in Central Poland it will very often freeze as low as to the snow's surface.