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Camellia japonicaCamellia japonica

  • BOTANICAL NAME: Camellia japonica
  • PRONUNCIATION: ca-MEEL-e-a ja-PON-i-ca
  • COMMON NAME: Japanese Camellia
  • FAMILY: Theaceae
  • NATIVITY: Korea, Japan
  • GROWTH HABIT: Pyramidal to upright oval. Very regular and formal in appearance.
  • SIZE: 8 - 15' in cultivation, up to 30' in the wild
  • HARDINESS: Zone 7 - 9. Tremendous variation in the hardiness of the different cultivars. A plant collected by the Morris Arboretum at the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens has escaped all injury at 0°F.
  • CULTURE: Some sun, but does better in partial shade. Moist, well-drained, acidic, high organic matter soils.
  • LANDSCAPE USE: Specimen plant, small groups and as a container or conservatory plant. The container grown specimens in the Longwood Gardens conservatory are spectacular in flower.
  • FOLIAGE: Alternate, ovate to elliptic, serrate, 2 - 4" long. Deep green and very shiny leaves.
  • BUDS: Flower buds terminal or in upper leaf axils, imbricate 3/4" long.
  • BARK: Brown stems heavily lenticeled.
  • FLOWERS: Perfect, solitary, 5 - 7 petals, 3 - 5" across, white, pink or red. Considerable effort has been spent to create doubles (most all cultivars greatly exceed 7 petals) and color variation in the range stated, including various speckled, bicolors, etc. Plants flower in March - April when grown outside in the Delaware valley.
  • FRUIT: Woody capsule.
  • PROPAGATION: Cuttings.
  • PESTS: None serious.

Other Resources for Camellia Enthusiasts: