16
Mar
2010
Camellia japonica
Trees and shrubs | Magnoliopsida

Scientific Name– Camellia japonica L.

The Generic name is given in honor of a botanist George Jesef Kamel (1661-1706).

Synonim– Thea japonica (L.) Noiss

Common name(s)– camellia, Kamelia, Camelia, Japanese rose.

Distribution and Habitat– native from Eastern Asia, its origin is still controversial, being considered by some as species indigenous from Japonia and, by others, from China.

Description– evergreen tree or shrub, up to 15 m tall; richly branced. Leaves alternate, simple, shortly stalked; blade broadly elliptic, glabrous, 7.5-12 cm long x 3-7 cm wide, shortly tapering, 6-8 veins visible but not proeminent; upper side dark green, glossy, underside pal green; margin serrate. Flowers terminal, solitary, sessile, 7-15 cm diameter, white, red; sepals 5; petals 5-6 in wild specimens; stamens numerous; ovary superior, trilocular, glabrous. Fruit capsule, 4-5 cm diameter, with 1-2 seed per locule. Seed dark brown, 2.5 cm long.

Growth rate– 

Tolerances– not only tolerate  but also prefer temperatures between 5-9 °C. Is a calcifuge genus, adapted to acidic soils.

Requirements– prefer slightly acid, humus rich soil with good drainage, and protection from direct sun and strong winds.

Management– mulcing is necessary for best performance. Irrigation may be needed during prolonged dry periods.

Propagation– by cuttings, but rooting can be difficult.

Pest and Diseases– 

Garden Partners– 

Cultivars– ‘Nobilissima’ is the first camellia to flower, its blooms are inevitably damaged by late frosts.

‘Debutante’ is a fast-growing, vigorous, form with pale pink flowers.

‘Alba Plena’ snow-white flowers.

Properties and Uses– 

Curiosity– evergreen ornamental plant of the Theaceae family, native from Eastern Asia, its origin is still controversial, being considered by some as species indigenous from Japonia and, by others, from China. It was introduced into Europe by the Portuguese in 1542 and soon spread to Spain, England, France and Italy; into United States at the beginning of the 18th century, and in Australia during the mid 19th century.

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