Camellia japonica, commonly known as Japanese camellia or simply camellia, is a flowering evergreen shrub native to Japan and China. It is a popular ornamental plant in many parts of the world, prized for its large, showy flowers and glossy, dark green leaves.
Here are some key facts about Camellia japonica:
- Appearance: Camellia japonica typically grows to a height of 6-12 feet (1.8-3.7 meters) and has a dense, bushy habit. Its leaves are dark green and glossy, and measure 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) in length. The flowers are typically 3-5 inches (7-13 cm) in diameter, with 5-9 petals that can be various shades of pink, red, or white.
- Blooming season: Camellia japonica typically blooms in late winter or early spring, although the exact timing can vary depending on the climate.
- Growing conditions: Camellia japonica prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade. It is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, but does not do well in extreme heat or cold.
- Uses: Camellia japonica is primarily grown as an ornamental plant, valued for its attractive foliage and showy flowers. The flowers are sometimes used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and the plant's seeds are used to make tea seed oil, a cooking oil with a high smoke point.
- Varieties: There are many different varieties of Camellia japonica, with a wide range of flower colors, sizes, and shapes. Some popular cultivars include 'Adolphe Audusson', which has deep red flowers with a white edge, and 'Alba Plena', which has white flowers with a double row of petals.
- Care: Camellia japonica requires regular watering and occasional fertilization to thrive. It is also important to prune the plant regularly to maintain its shape and promote healthy growth. Camellia japonica is generally hardy and disease-resistant, but can be susceptible to pests such as scale insects and spider mites.