The species camellias are the jewels of the camellia species. Here you will find fragrance, elegance in growth habit, foliage, and flower. Many of these lesser known camellia species are excellent garden subjects. Many have exceedingly fine texture, and some are even pendulous, others have colorful tinted new foliage. Blooms are often profuse, an asset when the particular species is also fragrant.
Culture is the same as for all, rich moist acid soil, placement in partial shade gives the best foliage appearance, and shelter from winds and excessive cold. Regular watering is appreciated and occasional pruning to direct growth is all that is asked for in requirements.
A small mention of some favorite species selections:
C. assimilis is shrublike in form and size with deep coppery bronze new growth. Growth is lacy and pendulous and small white flowers cover the plant during the bloom period. Small leaves give fine texture.
C. caudata is also shrublike and fine textured(also a bit hairy), single white flowers in profusion.
C. cuspidata is open and pright growing with single floppy individual flowers, but en masse the effect is very captivating when in profuse bloom. Almost like a dusting of snow over the plant in bloom and the flowering time can be very long…. from Oct. to April/May.
C. fraterna is upright with pendant side branches. Upright sprays of foliage and cup-funnel shaped single white flowers cover the plant during bloom. Small leaves give fine texture.
C. lutchuensis was one of the first species used in hybridizing fragrant varieites. The parent species has fine textured small leaves tinted copper when young and small dainty white fragrant flowers.
C. nokoensis is most elegant with pendulous branches dressed in fine textured small pointed leaves. White flowers cover the plant during bloom. Very elegant garden subject.
C. synaptica is medium in texure, will tolerate full sun (with watering) and has medium single white flowers sweetly scented..almost citrus like. Growth is upright and vigorous.
C. transnokoensis is a star here, with reddish kissed buds, elegant lacy upright arching frondlike branching and scented small white flowers. In a group of these species, it easily stands out.
C. transariesanensis is similar with stiffer growth.
C. tsaii is lacy and elegant with long leaves ending in a long point and the leaf margins are wavy. In appearance it is almost like a Ficus benjamina but it blooms! Small white flowers are fragrant and pedulous beneath the branches. It can grow to perhaps 20 ft. in great age, perhaps 75 yrs+.