Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Asia and Alabama
The Camellia Japonica yesterday teasingly showing its furled pink petals.
I love the glossy leaves and the flowers are so delicate when they are finally open.
The genus was named by Linnaeus after a Jesuit Missionary, pharmacist, and botanist called Georg Joseph Kamel.
He wrote about the native plants of the
Philippine Island of Luzon. Even though he may never have seen a Camellia Linnaeus thought enough of him to rename a Genus in his honour.
Camellias are native through out South and East Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia.
The most grown commercially Camellia is Camellia Sinensis, whos leaves are used to make Tea.
The Staple drink of the British, which has been drank for hundreds of years. From dried Camellia leaves..
The Garden one photographed is a Camellia Japonica. The plant label says Camellia Bonomiana on it.
There are about 3000 cultivars.
They are slow growing shrubs or tree's averaging 30cm new growth a year. The leaves are evergreen, and the flowers Dahlia like.
They need acidic or neutral soil to grow, and a sheltered position. They can thrive in dappled shade below tree's and by west facing walls. The buds are delicate to frosts and too much sun.
The Camellia is also the State Flower of Alabama (My Favourite American State that I visited). I liked the Yellowhammer bird too on these American Stamps.
My plant has a lot of Flower buds around the Stems nestling below the green shiny leaves.
When I was dreaming about a garden there was always space for at least one Camellia. When it flowers I can blog the beautiful pink blooms that have captivated people from all Continents, and times from Ancient to Victorian, to the Present day.