This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Shrubs, with deciduous membranous serrulate leaves, and large showy axillary solitary flowers on short peduncles. Sepals 5, rarely 6, slightly unequal, ovate or lanceolate. Petals of the same number, obovate. Stamens monadelphous below; anthers versatile. Ovary 5-celled; styles 1 or 5; ovules 2 in each cell, anatropous, ascending; capsule ovoid, woody, 5-celled, loculicidally dehiscent. Embryo straight. Cotyledons oval, longer than the inferior radicle. [Named in honor of John Stuart, Marquis of Bute.]
Six species, natives of North America and Japan. Type species: Stewartia Malachodendron L.
Style 1, compound; stigma 5-lobed; seeds marginless; capsule subglobose.
Styles S. distinct: seeds wing-margined: cansule ovoid, 5-angled.
Stewartia Malachodendron L. Sp. Pl. 698. 1753. Stewartia virginica Cav. Diss. 5: pl. 158. f. 2. 1787.
A shrub, 6°-12° high, the branches pubescent when young. Leaves oval, acute or acuminate at each end, 2'-3' long, 1 1/2'-2' wide, serrulate with mucronate-tipped teeth, pubescent below. glabrous above; petioles 2"-4" long; flowers axillary, 3'-4' broad, solitary or occasionally in pairs, very short-peduncled; sepals ovate or orbicular, obtuse, silky-pubescent, united at the base; petals 5. white, sparingly pubescent on the under side, minutely crenulate; filaments purple; anthers blue; style I, compound; stigma 5-lobed; capsule subglobose, 6"-8" long, pubescent; seeds marginless.
In woods, Virginia to Florida, west to Louisiana. April-May.
Stuartia pentagyna L'Her. Stirp. Nov. 155. pl. 74. 1784.
Malachodendron ovatum Cav. Diss. 5: pl. 158. f. 2. 1787.
A shrub resembling the preceding species. Leaves oval, or ovate, larger, 4'-6' long, 2'-3' wide, acuminate at the apex, obtuse or sometimes acute at the base, pubescent beneath, mucronate-serrulate or rarely entire; flowers axillary, solitary, 2-3' broad; peduncles 3"-7" long; sepals lanceolate, acutish, hairy; petals 5 or 6, cream-color, crenulate; styles 5, distinct; capsule 5-an-gled, ovoid, acute, 9" long, densely pubescent; seeds wing-margined.