Archive for November 29th, 2008

First Camellia Flowers of the Season

These pictures show some of the first camellia blooms in our yard this season. We have nine camellia bushes in our yard. All of them except one were planted by previous owners of the house. A few of ours have very large trunks and look like they could be as much as 50 years old. Camellias can have a very long lifespan. Some have lived 100 years or more.

The particular camellia in these pictures looks to be about 20-25 years old. It is definitely a camellia japonica, but I am not sure what particular type of japonica it is. My best guess is that it is a Louise Hairston Variegated, a variety that was developed in the USA in 1967.

Camellias are gorgeous flowers. When one is in full bloom, a large plant can be covered with hundreds of flowers, each a few inches in diameter. Camellias also have glossy dark evergreen leaves that are attractive all year long. They come in a huge variety of shapes, although nearly all camellias are red, pink, white, or a combination thereof. One of the best things about camellias is the fact that they flower during cool weather. In general, camellias flower from October through April. Most of the camellia japonicas in our area (USDA zone 9) bloom from January through March. They are one of the few plants we have that bloom in the winter months.

Camellias are popular plants in our neighborhood. Nearly every yard has at least one. They add color to the neighborhood during the colder months, and their foliage remains attractive during the warmer months.

Camellias prefer a shady location. Most of our camellias are planted on the northeast and northwest sides of our house. Some of our camellias have grown higher than the roof line, and as a result, the top branches receive sun most of the day. But they don’t seem to mind as long as the roots and lower branches are shaded.

November 29 2008 | Camellias | Comments Off on First Camellia Flowers of the Season