Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees
Native to eastern and southern Asia. There are over 3,000 named kinds, and the range in color, size, and form is remarkable. The genus includes the plant from which we get tea, but most garden plants are robust shrubs that flower in winter or spring.
Some of the biggest and most spectacular camellia flowers occur in this species, and likely as not they appear on some of the lankiest and least graceful plants. Plants differ somewhat according to variety, but generally are rather gaunt and open shrubs that eventually become trees of considerable size—possibly 35–50 ft. tall. In gardens, consider them 10-ft.-tall shrubs, 8 ft. wide. Leaves are also variable but tend to be dull green, leathery, and strongly net veined.
Culture is quite similar to that of other camellias, except that plants seem intolerant of heavy pruning. This, in addition to their natural lankiness and size, makes them difficult to place in garden. They are at their best in light shade of old oaks, where they should stand alone with plenty of room to develop. They are good container subjects while young but are not handsome out of bloom. They develop better form and heavier foliage in open ground. In Zones 4–6, grow them in containers so you can move them into winter protection, or plant beneath overhang or near wall.
Best-known varieties have very large semidouble flowers with deeply fluted and curled inner petals. These inner petals give great depth to the flower. All bloom mid winter to early spring.'Buddha'
‘Buddha’ has a very large, rose-pink flower; inner petals unusually erect and wavy. Fast grower.'Chang’s Temple'
Large, open-centered, deep rose flowers with notched and fluted center petals. Vigorous plant of better appearance than most reticulatas.'Mandalay Queen'
‘Mandalay Queen’ has verylarge semidouble pink flowerswith fluted petals.'Mouchang'
‘Mouchang’ has very large, single to semidouble salmon-pink flowers. Vigorous.'William Hertrich'
‘William Hertrich’ hasvery large, semidouble, deepred flowers with heavy petals.
Native to Asia Minor. Tuberous-rooted plant 1 1/2 to 2 ft. tall and wide,with fresh green, almost fern...
Clumps grow 2 to 8 ft. tall, with large, lance-shaped leaves that are often colored red or variegated....
This Mediterranean native grows slowly to 12 to 40 ft. tall and wide. Natural habit is compact and mul...