Camellia is a shrub or small tree grown for its large,
lustrous leaves and beautiful flowers in late Fall, Winter and early Spring. Camellia is one of the "Queens" in the flower garden, it prefers
cool climate in US zone 7-8 (average minimum temperatures from 0 to 20 F).
There are two Camellia species that are widely grown around the world: C.
japonica and C. sasanqua.
Camellia has a cousin, C. sinensis,
and its leaves are widely used to make tea. Camellias are originally from
Japan, China, and North Vietnam.
C. japonica has large
flower, up to 5 inches across, and bloom in late Winter or early Spring. C.
sasanqua plant is relatively smaller than C.
japonica, but generally hardier than other species and
bloom earlier (late Fall). Leaves and flowers of C.
sasanqua are smaller, about 2 inches in diameter.
Camellia flowers are semi-double or double forms in shades of white, yellow,
pink, rose or purple red. Few cultivars from C. sasanqua are fragrant. If you want to learn more about camellia, visit these Camellia
societies: Gainesville Camellia
Society, American Camellia
Society, International Camellia Society.