Up until a little over a week ago I had no idea mountain camellia existed. Belonging to the same family of plants that give us tea, Stewartia ovata is something you have to see to believe. Had I not been briefed in advance, I probably would have thought I had stumbled into some sort of escaped garden cultivar. What follows is my first encounter with this lovely native tree. A group of us were guided by Stewartia expert, Jack Johnston on a fun adventure to see them in bloom. We were not disappointed.