Wednesday, March 7, 2012

'Blood of China' Camellia

My MIL called it 'Bloody China' and it is as red as blood.

It goes by other names of 'Victor Emmanuel' and
'Alice Slack,' neither as descriptive as
Blood of China. Fully open blooms are 4" across.

Described in the literature as 'semi-double to loose
opening to peony flowered.'
The older blossoms show the stamens mixed
among the petals.

Described by some sites as reddish orange,
in my garden it is pure red with abundant petals.

Nearing the time that old leaves shed and new growth starts as bloom season ends,
this specimen is nearly fifty years old. Once accidentally set on fire when the
neighbors burned their woods, it came back in full beauty.

Blood of China is listed in some descriptions as
slightly fragrant. I can't discern any scent.

Secrets of a Seedscatterer       


  1. NeilJean,

    This one is a stunner, and for 50 years, pretty nice. The fire likely gave it more stamina anyway.

    1. They are tough. The season is over here except for Bloody China and a couple of seedlings. Azaleas are taking over the show.

  2. 50 years! Wow - and to think it sustained a fire. Very impressive. And quite beautiful. Love the name 'Blood of China', too.

    1. It sounds historical, doesn't it? I don't know how it came to have 3 names.

  3. Oh WOW!! That is a stunning Camellia and look at the size of it! What a lucky girl you are! Absolutely stunning!!

    1. Thank you, Christine. I am a lucky girl to have inherited some marvelous plants and to have had some wonderful mentors.

  4. what a gorgeous Camellia. I am envious of mature Camellias, yours being 50 years is wonderful!

  5. Your camelia is very pretty. We have red and pink ones too and I like how they bloom in the winter when all others seem to be resting....Christine

  6. That camellia is stunning. Fifty years, wow. How long do camellias normally live?

  7. Your Camellia is a beauty Nell Jean and it sure does look red to me. I had a large Aucuba that got badly burned whilst I was destroying a wasps nest nearby. The shrub now looks healthier than it ever did and it was smothered with berries for the first time in the following year.

  8. Definitely red! Almost looks like an apple tree. Luv that you included the fact that it's 50 years old and was once almost destroyed by a fire.

  9. Gorgeous Camelias... I LOVE that color... Fabulous!!!!! We grow roses here --and I am just waiting (Not so patiently) for some beautiful blooming roses....

    Both hubby and I are 1942 babies... My birthday is August 5.. When is yours?

  10. It's beautiful! I can definitely see the resemblance to a peony too. I think this red camellia an even better cultivar than 'Black Tie'. It's gorgeous! So glad it came back after the fire too.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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