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Camellia sasanqua ‘White Doves’ (photo courtesy of Kimberley Navabpour)
Camellia sasanqua ‘White Doves’ (photo courtesy of Kimberley Navabpour)

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Zone
Zones vary by species.
Partial Sun
Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Camellia x williamsii

Theaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

CAMELLIA

Camellias grow over a wider latitude range along the West Coast than anywhere else. Typically loaded with white, pink, red, or variegated blooms during the cool season, many of these robust shrubs flower heavily when other bloom is scarce. Native to southern and eastern Asia, they are unscented except as noted.

Big C. japonica varieties are the most popular, with fall- and winter-flowering C. sasanqua varieties coming in second. All are classic understory shrubs that thrive in filtered shade. They also grow well in pots.

There are six camellia forms: Anemone, formal double, peony, rose-form double, single, and semidouble.

Camellia x williamsii

This is a cross between C. japonica and a variable species from China.

‘Brigadoon’

Vigorous upright shrub with rather pendulous branches. Very large, semidouble flowers are rich pink with a hint of silver, produced in spring. Grows 8 ft. high and wide; can eventually reach 15 ft. high and 10 ft. wide.

‘J. C. Williams’

Medium single, cup-shaped flowers of purplish pink over very long season, from early to late. Vigorous, upright shrub to 8–15 ft. high and 8–10 ft. wide, with rather pendulous branches. Particularly good camellia for the Pacific Northwest.

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