Many Camellia japonicas are certainly extremely hardy –

There is of course no question that a single well grown specimen will be an outstanding feature in your garden, however Camellias are now often being used as hedges, ground cover, topiary, for screens and boarders as well as valuable pot specimens. – Their exceptional evergreen glossy foliaged and exquisite blooms make them a must for your garden. Flowering through winter into spring – adds value to the garden, when so little other colour on offer.

Many of our older japonica varieties are outstanding performers – they have stood the test of time!

Look around Adelaide gardens and you will be surprised how many Camellias you will notice, many of the varieties you are likely to see are listed below.

C M Wilson – first registered in 1948. Large double centre bloom  is a beautiful shade of pink, delicately edged silvery white to the outer petals margins. Petaloids are silvery white intertwined with golden stamens. Its large, glossy dark green leaves are carried on spreading branches at times giving a pendulous effect. Growth habit is described as low spreading. Great pot specimen.  Early to midseason flowering.

Debutante – originally registered in 1930, this variety has certainly stood the test of time. A well-known favourite with many camellia growers.  A delicate light pink Informal double or peony form flower that is always one of the first to flower in winter (late May). Debutante has sturdy upright bushy growth carrying lighter green foliage than many Camellias.

Lady Loch – First listed in 1889 –a sport of Aspasia MacArthur. It is an informal double bloom, light salmon pink bordered white. ( Lady Loch has launched many other variations Sports/mutations of itself from deep salmon pink ’’Otahuhu Beauty’’ to a white bloom with a red petal margin ‘’Margaret Davis”)   It had a strong bushy growth habit ideal for variety of situations.

Elegans – A new star was found in 1831!  A fluffy double centre carmine pink with white erratically placed blotches. The foliage is dark green and glossy. A whole family of mutations have risen from this cultivar.   C. M. Wilson mentioned earlier being one of them.

Emperor of Russia variegated – First listed in 1938. A large brilliant red informal double to peony form flower, randomly blotched white with golden stamens intermingled with its twisted petals. This  is a true beginner’s variety that will give most the confidence to pursue other varieties. Rated amongst the hardiest of all Camellias. Midseason flowering

Great Eastern – This is an Australian variety first listed in 1872.  Large semi double blooms of brilliant crimson, often found with a small group of petaloids in the centre. Another of the hardiest Camellias available, strong spreading growth. Very free and early flowering

Brushfield’s Yellow – This Australian raised cultivar has outstanding white to cream double centre to anemone form blooms. These are borne in profusion on a compact bushy yet upright plant, its strong stocky branches hold the flower so they sit up and look at you.  Of all the Camellias listed this has the best growth habit of all. Wonderful in a pot.  Early to midseason flowering.

Roger Hall – Originated in Tea Tree Gully by Newman’s Nursery, South Australia in 1979, a small formal double clear red with vigorous upright bushy growth. A strong growing plant suited to the garden as well as a tub. Very free flowering. Blooms early in the season. (June and goes through to September)

Shiro Chan – A sport of C M Wilson that first flowered in 1950. A white, double centre to incomplete anemone form. Some flowers may occasionally show a slight tinge on very pale pink before opening. Shiro Chan has the same growth and flower habits as C. M. Wilson.

Pope John XX111 – Pure white formal double form with heavily textured petals. First bloomed in 1967. The plant habit is upright and bushy with dense dark green foliage. Midseason to late flowering.

The Czar – Has certainly stood the test of time and favoured as a beginners camellia, first blooming in 1913.  This large semi- double crimson has densely veined petals which reflex. The plants growth habit is erect, compact with dark green foliage.Midseason

Wildfire –  A Nuccios Nursery release in 1963.  Semi double dark red orange flowers that have a dominate yellow stamen centre. Vigorous upright growth. Blooms early and goes through the season usually finishing in September.

See our collection on this website.

Dianne Hall

Dianne Hall, January 21st, 2021

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