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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 4-9, 12, 14-24, 26-32
Partial Sun
Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Camellia sinensis

Tea
Theaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

CAMELLIA

Native to eastern and southern Asia. There are more than 3,000 named kinds of camellias, 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.

 

Camellia sinensis

In the West, the tea plant grows as a dense round shrub to 15 ft. tall and wide, with leathery, dull dark green leaves to 5 in. long. White, 1 1/2-in.-wide, fragrant fall flowers. Takes well to pruning. Can be trimmed as hedge. Tea can be grown in California but has never been a major crop for economic reasons.

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