Camellia • Camellia • ツバキ • 椿 • tsubaki
A few years ago, when the plant group was doing a camellia study (cataloging all SJG camellias) a few of the 33 described camellias had no pictures of their blooms attached for a while. The reason was unusual time of their boom (late winter/early spring for c. japonica and late fall for c. sasanqua) – this particular camellia was among them.
It grows along the fence in area M, the only camellia there, but it doesn’t put out its vivid red blooms until somewhere in May, when the neighboring rhododendrons (this area are full of them) are also blooming, so it easily ‘hides’ in the color eruption (January, February and March camellias have the show all to themselves, as the garden is rather dormant then).
From NC State University: Camellia japonica
Common Name(s): Camellia, Japanese camellia
Comment: Numerous Cultivars are available. Camellia is one of those old southern favorites. It blooms in early spring when not much else is blooming and adds color to what might otherwise be considered a dreary landscape. Bloom color ranges from white to all shades of pink and red. The flower size is quite variable ranging from a two inches diameter up to five inches. Depending upon the camellia variety, flowering may start as early as October and finish as late as mid March. The flowers on each plant will usually last three to four weeks. […]
From Gardenia: […] There are numerous species of Camellia (about 250) but the Camellia types commonly grown as landscape shrubs are Camellia sasanqua, Camellia japonica, and hybrids of these.
Camellia japonica is the pre-eminent species of the genus and counts over 30 000 cultivars in a wide array of flower forms and colors. Its shapely habit, handsome, glossy foliage and fabulous flowers have attracted gardeners for hundreds of years in Japan, China and Korea. Long-lived, some Japanese camellias, around the emperor’s palace in Japan, are known to be more than 500 years old. Unfortunately, Japanese camellias are not always cold-hardy.
The blooms of Japanese camellias come in every size, from miniature flowers, 1.5 in. (4 cm), to huge blossoms reaching 5 in. across (12 cm). Their color range from pure white to soft pink to dark red. They come in a wide array of forms and may be single, semi-double, double, formal double or full peony form. They all create a spectacular floral display from late winter to spring. The flowers on each plant usually last three to four weeks.
The evergreen foliage of Japanese camellias is equally prized by gardeners. The leaves are larger than those of sasanquas, usually about 4 inches long (10 cm), and more leathery. They remain deep, shiny green all year and make wonderful dense hedges.
Slow growers, Japanese camellias are broadleaved, evergreen shrubs that may grow up to 25 feet (7.5 m), but more often reach 6-12 feet (180-360 cm) with a spread of 6-10 feet (180-300 cm). […]