This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(after George Joseph Kamel or Camellus, a Moravian Jesuit, who traveled in Asia in the seventeenth century). Ternstroemiaceae. Camellia. Woody plants, chiefly grown for their showy white or red flowers and also for their handsome evergreen foliage. Evergreen trees or shrubs with alternate short-peti-oled serrate leaves and large terminal or axillary white or red flowers followed by subglobose woody caps.: flowers sessile, upright; sepals many, imbricate, deciduous; petals 5 or more; stamens numerous, more or less connate; ovary 3-5-celled, with slender styles connate, at least below: fruit a dehiscent caps., with few large subglobose seeds. - About 10 species in tropical and subtropical Asia. Often united with Thea, which differs in its nodding and stalked flowers with a persistent calyx consisting of 5 nearly equal sepals. There is a monograph of this genus by Seemann in Trans. Linn. Soc. 22:337-352 (1859) and by Kochs in Engler Bot. Jahrb. 27:577-634 (1900). Illustrated monographs of the horticultural varieties are: Curtis, Monogr. of the genus Camellia (1819); Baumann, Bollweiler Camelliensammlung (1828); Chandler, Camellieae (1831); Berlese, Monogr. du genre Camellia a (1839); Verschaffelt, Nouvelle Monographie du Camellia (1848-1860): the last with 576 and the previous one with 300 colored plates.
Fig. 758. Camellia japonica-Abby Wilder.
Fig. 759. Camellia japonica- Lucida.
Camellias grow like natives on sandy lands and even on high pine land in central Florida, but they flower best in half-shady somewhat moist places. The half-double varieties of Camellia japonica do best, while the very double kinds often drop their buds entirely. The flowers suffer very much from the sun and cannot be grown much farther south than central Florida. Camellia Sasanqua, single, half-double and double kinds, grow much more satisfactorily than the varieties of C. japonica. They begin to flower late in October and early November, and the double white C. Sasanqua is a mass of pure white usually at Christmas time. All the varieties of C. Sasanqua have somewhat fragrant flowers. C. reticulata does equally well in Florida. It is very distinct in foliage from the two former species which have glossy leaves, while the leaves of C. reticulata are dull green. All the camellias are extremely slow growers if not carefully cultivated and fertilized. A mulch of old cow-manure, now and then a little commercial fertilizer, and thorough watering during the dry season several times a week start the bushes into a vigorous and healthy growth.
They are so extremely beautiful when in flower that all the care given them is well repaid. (H. Nehrling.)
A. Ovary and leaves perfectly glabrous. japonica, Linn. (Thea japonica, Nois.). Figs. 758-761. Shrub or tree, sometimes to 40 ft., glabrous: lvs very shining and dark green above, ovate or elliptic, acuminate, sharply serrate, 2-4 in. long: flowers red in the type, 3-5 in. across; petals 5-7, roundish. China, Japan. B.M. 42. S.Z. 82. F.S. 20:2121. S.I.F. 1:73. Gn. 24, p. 411; 28, p. 203; 36, p. 241. variety alba, Lodd. Flowers white. L.B.C. 7:636. Gn. 54, p. 243. J.H. III. 54:227; 64:397. variety alba-plena, Lodd. Flowers white, double. L.B.C. 3:269. Gn. 53, p. 244. variety anemoniflora, Curtis. Flowers red, with 5 large petals, the stamens changed into numerous smaller and narrow petals; the whole flower resembling that of a double anemone. L.B.C. 537. B.M. 1654. Gn. 44, p. 329. variety magno-liaeflora, Hort. Flowers pale rose, semi-double, with 12-15 petals rather narrow and half upright. Gn. 76, p. 31. variety apucaeformis, Rehd. (C. apucaeformis, Jacob-Mackoy). Leaves bifid at the apex. - For the numerous other garden forms, see the above-mentioned monographs; also, Flore des Serres, L'lllustration Horticole, and other older horticultural publications contain a large number of varieties with illustrations.
aa. Ovary and leaves on the midrib above pubescent.
Lindl. (Thea reticulata, Pierre). Large shrub, glabrous: leaves dull green, not shining above, reticulate, flat, elliptic-oblong, acuminate, serrate, 3-5 in. long: flowers 5-7 in. across, purplish rose; petals 15-20, obovate, loosely arranged. China. B.R. 13:1078. B.M. 2784. P.M. 3:101. G.M. 35: suppl. Apr. 2. F.W. 1880:321. G. 25:59. variety plena, Hort. Flowers with twice as many petals, and more regularly arranged. B.M.
4976. F.S. 12: 1279-80.
Shrub of loose, straggling habit, and with the branches pubes-cent when young: leaves elliptic to oblong-ovate, bluntly pointed at the apex, crenateserrate, shining, dark green and hairy on the midrib above, 1-2 in. long: flowers 1 1/2-2 in. across, white; petals 5 or more, obovate or oblong. China, Japan. Gn. 54:142. S.Z. 83 (except the red vars.). S.I.F. 2:52. J.H. III. 43: 131. G.M. 36:51. Runs into many forms. variety semi-plena, Hort. Flowers semi-double, white. B.R. 1:12; 13:1091. variety anemo-nifldra, Seem. Flowers large, double, outer petals white, inner ones much smaller, yellow. B.M. 5152. variety oledsa, Rehd. (Thea Sasanqua variety oleosa, Pierre. C. oleifera, Lindl.). Of more robust habit, with leaves and the single white flowers larger than in the type. B.R. 11: 942. L.B.C. 11:1065. variety Kissi, Rehd. (Thea Sasanqua variety Kissi, Pierre. C. Kissi, Wall.). Leaves oval-oblong to ovate, long-acuminate, to 3 1/2 in- long. Himalayas.
Fig. 760. Camellia japonica-H. A. Downing.
Fig. 761. Camellia japonica-President Clark.