Now is the beginning of the camellia season and there are many exciting new things awaiting the gardener! Much hybridizing work has been done and we now have fragrant camellias, new species which make excellent garden subject of outstanding merit, unusual floral colors and patterns, and unusual foliages and growth habits(contorted stems as well as weeping and dwarf camellias).
First of all there really are fragrant camellias. A few C. japonicas such as ‘Nioi Fubuki’ a Higo type flower, single to anemone with petaloids, white with streaks of rose pink and large boss of stamens, C. j. Kramers Supreme is lightly fragrant and very available. Large red peony form flowers on vigorous bush. New hybrids*just a few mentioned here… High Fragrance- pink peony form, Cinnamon Cindy, small white blush double and cinnamon fragranced, blooms in great profusion with many small flowers, Minato no Akebono- single medium pink, oval small foliage of fine texture, blooms in profusion, Minato no Haru, again, med, pink in profusion on small fine textured plant, there are many more if you search!
Species camellias are now much more available and some make exceedingly fine ornamentals with lacey fine textured foliages in many instances and profuse blooming giving a mass display. C. assimilis, C. nokoensis, C. lutchuensis, C. fraterna, C. rosiflora, C. transnokoensis, C. transarisanensis, C. salicifolia, C. tsaii are all excellent and stunning garden subjects. Fine textured foliage in all cases, profuse blooming and many are fragrant. Small white flowers and lacey fine textured foliage, some have bronzed new leaves. All easy care, all definitely UN-camellia like to most people.
Unusual floral colors and patterns are another discovery to this group. You will find ‘black’ flowered cvs. Kuro tsubaki, Night Rider, Black Magic, Black Opal, etc. Picoteed blooms Jean Cleare, Margaret Davis, Tama no Ura, Tama Peacock, Tama Americana, Tama Vino.
Growth habits and foliages: weeping Hakuhan Kujaku/Kujaku Tsubaki has lily like foliage and weeping habit, Yuri ba tsubaki has lily like foliage, Unryu is contorted with twisting stems bending at 45 degree andgles at each leaf node, trumpet rose red flowers, Egao Corkscrew had double pink blooms and twisted stems. Kin Sekai yellow varieg middle of leaf, Sakazuki-ba has concave leaves that can acutally hold water, Nokogiri-ba has saw toothed leaves, Reigyoku has broad white middles in the leaves, Taiyo is similarly brilliant, this time in bright yellow. There are many more if you search.
This is just a sampler to whet the appetite. Check the nursery website blog for more info or better yet, visit the nursery to see for yourself!
There are some rare dwarfs such as Baby Bear, and Tiny Gem and the unusual genetically variegated ‘Yume’ with each petal a distinct color, one pink the next white alternating in the blossom!