Camellias are evergreen shrubs and small trees with long dark green shiny leaves. The flowers are radiant in white, purple and red. Many camellia varieties bloom between February and May, when other plants in your garden are not yet ready to put on a show. There are also hardy autumn bloomers that sparkle from October to January.
The camellia originates from the Far East in areas such as the eastern Himalayas, China, Japan and Malaysia, where it usually grows in coastal and mountain regions. The plant derives its name from the botanist Georg Kamel (1661-1706).Carl Linnaeus name the plant after him as a tribute.
The camellia is related to the tea bush (Camellia sinensis).
There are some 80 Camellia species.
The seeds of another member of the camellia family (Camellia oliefara) are processed to make valuable oil. You can use it in cooking, or use the antioxidants from the oil for your skin and hair.
The plant needs to be stimulated by frost before it can bloom again.
The camellia’s roots are very shallow, so be careful with your spade.