Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ancient Camellia japonicas

The flush of Camellia sasanquas has passed. There's only one here, an ancient white tree. It rains petals constantly forming a carpet that looks like snow, starting about Thanksgiving.

Just before this white finishes blooming, the white C. japonica beside it starts to open.
First blossom is exciting before it even opens.
There are other ancient Camellias here, huge things, here for fifty years, planted by my Mother-in-law. She used to send me back to Atlanta with a plastic bag filled with blooms when we would visit.

This is the gaudiest.

Mathotiana, or Rubra. It has several names.
Blood of China. This Camellia is a shy bloomer until late spring, when warm weather sometimes
blasts the last blooms.

Camellias here have no fragrance, except for the faint scet of tea in the rain when Camellia sasanqua blooms. What scents the air in a Camellia garden in January is Tea Olive, Osmanthus fragrans.
The tiny blooms of Tea Olive are noticeable across the garden, a heady
scent of lemon.
A separate post will display seedlings. Seeds saved from some of the ancient Camellias have produced different blooms. It was a casual project with exciting results for a beginner.




  1. I love all those camellias. our neighbor has tea olives across the street and you can smell it in our backyard when the breeze is right. Once i was stopped in my tracks walking downtown by a winter daphne that smelled so good.

  2. Your camellias are beautiful!


  3. So pretty. Do I understand correctly that these camellias are blooming in January? If yes, then all I have to say is that when it comes to gardening, life is not fair. ha-ha We're still in the deep freeze here.

  4. There is a C. japonica 'Fragrant Pink', truly fragrant. Small blossoms & looks like a C. sasanqua blossom.

    Cannot imagine gardening without camellias.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

  5. The deer seem to be enjoying my young Camellias....think it is time to move them to a better spot. Only C.sasanqua 'Yuletide' has bloomed well for me this year. Oh to have 50 year old shrubs....heavenly.


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

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