Camellia • Camellia • ツバキ • 椿 • tsubaki
There are two camellias in area N – northwest hilly corner of SJG: one is described in the Plant List as ‘sasanqua, flowers pink, has support pole’ (very corner of N, close to the path) and the other as ‘japonica, red flowers fading to pink’ (closer to top of the hill).
This post is about ‘C. japonica’ (no support pole) – last year I posted about this camellia in a group post in April (blooms same time in 2013), so now giving it a separate post. I’m somewhat fascinated by the fact that many of SJG camellias classified as ‘japonica’ have sub names like ‘Lily Pons’ or ‘Takayama’, but quite a few are left just as “japonica’, no further ado. I checked them all, and although most of our just ‘japonicas’ come in (different) shades of red, several bloom white, most are single petals, but one has double petals, which perhaps means that we simply do not know their sub-names…
The wikipedia article (link below) indicates that it grows in the wild in red or white, and that particular cultivars were either named after people who breed them or in honor of others (among wiki-listed there is white, edged pink with pink center Commander Mulroy camellia japonica, which I believe we actually have in area M, only listed as ‘japonica’, as well as Bob Hope camellia japonica, which is supposed to have deep red flower color).
From wikipedia: Camellia japonica (the Japanese camellia) is one of the best known species of the genus Camellia. Sometimes called the Rose of winter, it belongs to the Theaceae family. It is the official state flower of Alabama.
In the wild, it is found in mainland China (Shandong, east Zhejiang), Taiwan, southern Korea and southern Japan. It grows in forests, at altitudes of around 300–1,100 metres (980–3,600 ft). […]
Flowers of the wild species have six or seven rose or white petals, each 3–4.5 centimetres (1.2–1.8 in) long by 1.5–2.5 centimetres (0.6–1.0 in) wide; the innermost petals are joined at the base for up to a third of their length. (Cultivated forms often have more petals.) […]
County Line Nursery has pictures and descriptions of many cultivars for your perusal: among them ‘Daikagura’ which we actually have growing in area C (described as ‘red and white flower’ when in reality it is more pink flower with white splotches), and a picture of Bob Hope camellia japonica, too.