Waxy flowers of Camellia ‘Satans Robe’ and the even more waxy leaves of the camellias are one of the early joys in the spring garden. There is a range of camellias to suit most conditions and if you can’t find the lime free soil most varieties need they will grow in a pot of ericaceous compost. Flowers vary in size upto 5 inches across in yellow, red, white and pink.
Some Camellia Species
- Camellia Japonica, Sasanqua and Reticulata have special sections with some of the best varieties descibed or selected below
- C gigantacarpa also known as crapnelliana can grow into a 20 foot tree and has single white flowers.
- C cuspidata has coppery coloured young leaves white flowers and hybrids such as Cornish Spring and Spring Festival. This makes a thick wide shrub upto 12 feet wide and high.
- C. chrysantha is a yellow flowered plant with orange stamens. It is tender and needs a warm greenhouse.
- Camellia Williamsii hybrids are a good choice for better quality flowers in the colder darker north of the United Kingdom
The Best Camellia Japonica
- Adolphe Audusson is a vigourous red with irregular branching when young. It makes a dense bush 12 feet high and nearly as wide.
- Blaze of Glory has large flat leaves and blood-red peony flowers.
- Bokuhan all so called Tinsie is a red flowered,slow bushy grower great for containers.
- Hana-Tachibana is deep pink and slowly grows twice as tall as it is wide. Little Bit has a similar habit but red and white stripped flowers.
- Wilamina is and American variety with small perfect doulbe flowers in a cerise pink.
- Camellia japonica Higo is prized in Japan for Bonsai.
The Best Reticulata Camellias
- Captain Rawes is a semi-double with carmine pink flowers. There is a specimen in the greenhouse at Chatsworth
- Eden Roc aught to be grown in Cornwall with a namer like that. It has large pink flowers
- Otto Hopfer has flat flowers of salmon pink
- Royalty is bright red and can be trained on a wall to good effect
The Sasanqua Camellias
- These Camellias and C. heimalis are a bit different in that they tolerate lime in the soil, are generally more fragrant and flower during late Autumn and Winter. Even so they are prone to drop the flowers in a frost
- Bonanza deep red, Cleopatra rose pink and Rainbow white with purple buds are amongst the best varieties.
For more information on the exciting groups of Camellias try ‘The Gardeners Encyclopedia of Camellias’ or for real enthusiasts join the International Camellia Society