Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 2
April 2007
 
From the Garden
 

Camellia japonica


Camellia japonica


This broadleaf evergreen has been highly hybridized and, as a result, the showy flowers can range from white to varying shades of pink and red. Variegated varieties appear in single, semi-double, anemone, peony, rose and double forms. Its glossy, serrated leaves are dark green, resembling those of a laurel. Outdoors, it grows into a large shrub ranging in size from
7 to 12 feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide.

The plant is hardy in United States Department of Agriculture zones
7 through 9, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada zones 8 and 9. It flowers in late winter and early spring. For optimal flowering in cooler regions, keep it in a greenhouse where the temperature can be regulated from 45°F/7°C to 50°F/10°C. It does not cope well with significant changes in temperature and humidity; hence, it should not be moved outdoors during the summer.

The Camellia is a native of Asia Minor and is named for George Joseph Kamel (1661 to 1709), a Moravian botanist who spent many years studying plants in the Philippines.

Freelance photographer Vicki Morell shot this specimen during a break in Vancouver's recent incessant rainy weather.

 
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