Camellia is a genus of flowering plants found in Asian countries, such as Korea, Japan and Indonesia. Camellia sinensis is famously known for its leaves, which are used to make tea. White tea, green tea, oolong, pu-erh and black tea are all harvested from this species. The finest tea comes from the C. sinensis, but other camellias can be used to produce a similar beverage. Many high quality teas are grown at high elevations, up to 1500m, as the plants grow slower and will develop more flavour.
Camellias are evergreens that will bloom in autumn and winter. The leaves are thick and serrated with a glossy finish. Camellias are highly valued for their beauty and elegance, especially in Japan. Their attractive flowers are large and showy, ranging from five to nine petals. Camellias can be found in various shades of white, pinks and reds. They are distinguished by their dense bouquet of yellow stamens in the center.
In general, as a cultivated plant, camellias grow and bloom best in partial shade. They will thrive in cool, moist soil that is well drained. They require adequate water, as they would not survive a drought. In the winter, plants should be pruned to allow the flowers to blossom to their fullest extent. Pruning and cutting is the best way for propagation. Camellias are popular as cut flowers, adding colour and beauty to any floral arrangement.
Fun Facts about Camellia
- tea oil made from camellia seeds is a popular and essential cooking oil for millions of people, especially those that live in southern China
- Sacramento, California is nicknamed the Camellia City
- The Camellia is Alabama’s state flower
- Camellia represents adoration, devotion and loveliness
- Camellia leaves have been used in Asian traditional herbal medicine