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About 100–250, see text

Synonyms

Thea

Camellia
Camellia
is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan
Japan
and Indonesia. There are 100–300 described species, with some controversy over the exact number. There are also around 3,000 hybrids. The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit
Jesuit
botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, who worked in the Philippines and described a species of camellia (although Linnaeus did not refer to Kamel's account when discussing the genus).[1] Camellias are famous throughout East Asia; they are known as cháhuā (茶花, 'tea flower') in Chinese, tsubaki (椿) in Japanese, dongbaek-kkot (동백꽃) in Korean, and as hoa trà or hoa chè in Vietnamese. Of economic importance in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, leaves of C. sinensis are processed to create the popular beverage tea. The ornamental C. japonica, C. sasanqua and their hybrids are the source of hundreds of garden cultivars. C. oleifera produces tea seed oil, used in cooking and cosmetics.

Contents

1 Description 2 Use by humans 3 Ecology 4 Fossil
Fossil
record 5 Garden history 6 Modern cultivars 7 Selected species 8 Cultural significance 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

Description[edit]

Leaves of Camellia
Camellia
sinensis, the tea plant

Camellias are evergreen shrubs or small trees up to 20 m (66 ft) tall. Their leaves are alternately arranged, simple, thick, serrated, and usually glossy. Their flowers are usually large and conspicuous, one to 12 cm in diameter, with five to nine petals in naturally occurring species of camellias. The colors of the flowers vary from white through pink colors to red; truly yellow flowers are found only in South China and Vietnam. Camellia
Camellia
flowers throughout the genus are characterized by a dense bouquet of conspicuous yellow stamens, often contrasting with the petal colors.[2][3] The so-called "fruit" of camellia plants is a dry capsule, sometimes subdivided in up to five compartments, each compartment containing up to eight seeds. The various species of camellia plants are generally well-adapted to acidic soils rich in humus, and most species do not grow well on chalky soil or other calcium-rich soils. Most species of camellias also require a large amount of water, either from natural rainfall or from irrigation, and the plants will not tolerate droughts. However, some of the more unusual camellias – typically species from karst soils in Vietnam
Vietnam
– can grow without too much water. Camellia
Camellia
plants usually have a rapid growth rate. Typically they will grow about 30 cm per year until mature – though this does vary depending on their variety and geographical location. Camellia
Camellia
plants are used as food plants by the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
species; see List of Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
that feed on Camellia. Leaves of the Japanese camellia
Japanese camellia
(C. japonica) are susceptible to the fungal parasite Mycelia sterile (see below for the significance). Use by humans[edit]

Camellia reticulata
Camellia reticulata
is rare in the wild but has been cultivated for hundreds of years.

Camellia
Camellia
sinensis, the tea plant, is of major commercial importance because tea is made from its leaves. The species C. sinensis is the product of many generations of selective breeding in order to bring out qualities considered desirable for tea. However, many other camellias can be used to produce a similar beverage. For example, in some parts of Japan, tea made from C. sasanqua leaves is popular. Tea
Tea
oil is a sweet seasoning and cooking oil made by pressing the seeds of C. oleifera, C. japonica, and to a lesser extent other species such as C. crapnelliana, C. reticulata, C. sasanqua and C. sinensis. Relatively little-known outside East Asia, it is the most important cooking oil for hundreds of millions of people, particularly in southern China. Camellia
Camellia
oil is commonly used to clean and protect the blades of cutting instruments. Camellia
Camellia
oil pressed from seeds of C. japonica, also called tsubaki oil or tsubaki-abura (椿油) in Japanese, has been traditionally used in Japan
Japan
for hair care.[4] Ecology[edit] The camellia parasite mycelia sterile PF1022 produces a metabolite named PF1022A. This is used to produce emodepside, an anthelmintic drug.[5] Mainly due to habitat destruction, several camellias have become quite rare in their natural range. One of these is the aforementioned C. reticulata, grown commercially in thousands for horticulture and oil production, but rare enough in its natural range to be considered a threatened species. Fossil
Fossil
record[edit] The earliest fossil record of Camellia
Camellia
are the leaves of †C. abensis from the upper Eocene
Eocene
of Japan, †C. abchasica from the lower Oligocene
Oligocene
of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
and †C. multiforma from the lower Oligocene
Oligocene
of Washington, United States.[6] Garden history[edit] Camellias were cultivated in the gardens of China and Japan
Japan
for centuries before they were seen in Europe. The German botanist Engelbert Kaempfer
Engelbert Kaempfer
reported[7] that the " Japan
Japan
Rose", as he called it grew wild in woodland and hedgerow, but that many superior varieties had been selected for gardens. He was told that the plant had 900 names in Japanese. Europeans' earliest views of camellias must have been their representations in Chinese painted wallpapers, where they were often represented growing in porcelain pots. The first living camellias seen in England were a single red and a single white, grown and flowered in his garden at Thorndon Hall, Essex, by Robert James, Lord Petre, among the keenest gardeners of his generation, in 1739. His gardener James Gordon was the first to introduce camellias to commerce, from the nurseries he established after Lord Petre's untimely death in 1743, at Mile End, Essex, near London.[8] With the expansion of the tea trade in the later 18th century, new varieties began to be seen in England, imported through the British East India Company. The Company's John Slater was responsible for the first of the new camellias, double ones, in white and a striped red, imported in 1792. Further camellias imported in the East Indiamen were associated with the patrons whose gardeners grew them: a double red for Sir Robert Preston in 1794 and the pale pink named "Lady Hume's Blush" for Amelia, the lady of Sir Abraham Hume of Wormleybury, Hertfordshire (1806). The camellia was imported from England to America in 1797 when Colonel John Stevens brought the flower as part of an effort to grow attractions within Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey.[9] By 1819, twenty-five camellias had bloomed in England; that year the first monograph appeared, Samuel Curtis's, A Monograph on the Genus
Genus
Camellia, whose five handsome folio colored illustrations have usually been removed from the slender text and framed. Camellias that set seed, though they did not flower for more than a decade, rewarded their growers with a wealth of new varieties. By the 1840s, the camellia was at the height of its fashion as the luxury flower. The Parisian courtesan Marie Duplessis, who died young in 1847, inspired Dumas' La Dame aux camélias and Verdi's La Traviata. The fashionable imbricated formality of prized camellias was an element in their decline, replaced by the new hothouse orchid. Their revival after World War I as woodland shrubs for mild climates has been paralleled by the rise in popularity of Camellia
Camellia
sasanqua. Modern cultivars[edit] Today camellias are grown as ornamental plants for their flowers; about 3,000 cultivars and hybrids have been selected, many with double or semi-double flowers. C. japonica is the most prominent species in cultivation, with over 2,000 named cultivars. Next are C. reticulata with over 400 named cultivars, and C. sasanqua with over 300 named cultivars. Popular hybrids include C. × hiemalis (C. japonica × C. sasanqua) and C. × williamsii (C. japonica × Camellia
Camellia
saluenensisC. saluenensis). Some varieties can grow to a considerable size, up to 7002100000000000000♠100 m2, though more compact cultivars are available. They are frequently planted in woodland settings, alongside other calcifuges such as rhododendrons, and are particularly associated with areas of high soil acidity, such as Cornwall and Devon in the UK. They are highly valued for their very early flowering, often among the first flowers to appear in the late winter. Late frosts can damage the flower buds, resulting in misshapen flowers.[10] There is great variety of flower forms:

single (flat, bowl- or cup-shaped) semi-double (rows of large outer petals, with the centre comprising mixed petals and stamens) double:

paeony form (convex mass of irregular petals and petaloids with hidden stamens) anemone form (one or more rows of outer petals, with mixed petaloids and stamens in the centre) rose form (overlapping petals showing stamens in a concave centre when open) formal double (rows of overlapping petals with hidden stamens)

The following hybrid cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:

Name Parentage Size Flower colour Flower type Ref.

Cornish Snow cuspidata × saluenensis 04.0m² white single [11]

Cornish Spring cuspidata × japonica 04.0m² pink single [12]

Francie L reticulata × saluenensis 64.0m² rose-pink double [13]

Freedom Bell × williamsii 06.5m² red semi-double [14]

Inspiration reticulata × saluenensis 10.0m² rose-pink semi-double [15]

Leonard Messel reticulata × saluenensis 16.0m² rose-pink semi-double [16]

Royalty japonica × reticulata 01.0m² light red semi-double [17]

Spring Festival × williamsii, cuspidata 10.0m² pink semi-double [18]

Tom Knudsen japonica × reticulata 06.3m² deep red double paeony [19]

Tristrem Carlyon reticulata 10.0m² rose pink double paeony [19]

Simple-flowered Camellia × williamsii
Camellia × williamsii
cv. 'Brigadoon'

Semi-double-flowered camellia cultivar

Double-flowered camellia cultivar

Double-flowered hybrid cv. 'Jury's Yellow'

Selected species[edit]

Camellia
Camellia
fraterna

Flower buds of an unspecified camellia

Fruits of an unspecified camellia

Camellia japonica
Camellia japonica
- MHNT

Camellia
Camellia
assimilis Camellia
Camellia
azalea Camellia
Camellia
brevistyla Camellia
Camellia
caudata Camellia
Camellia
chekiangoleosa Camellia chrysantha
Camellia chrysantha
– golden camellia Camellia
Camellia
chrysanthoides Camellia
Camellia
connata Camellia crapnelliana
Camellia crapnelliana
– Crapnell's camellia Camellia
Camellia
cuspidata Camellia
Camellia
euphlebia Camellia
Camellia
euryoides Camellia
Camellia
flava (Pitard) Sealy Camellia
Camellia
fleuryi Camellia
Camellia
forrestii Camellia
Camellia
fraterna Camellia
Camellia
furfuracea Camellia
Camellia
gilbertii Camellia granthamiana
Camellia granthamiana
– Grantham's camellia Camellia
Camellia
grijsii Camellia
Camellia
hengchunensis Camellia
Camellia
hiemalis Camellia hongkongensis
Camellia hongkongensis
– Hong Kong camellia Camellia
Camellia
irrawadiensis Camellia japonica
Camellia japonica
– East Asian camellia Camellia
Camellia
kissii Camellia
Camellia
lutchuensis

Camellia
Camellia
miyagii Camellia nitidissima
Camellia nitidissima
– yellow camellia (formerly C. chrysantha) Camellia
Camellia
nokoensis Camellia oleifera – oil-seed camellia, tea oil camellia Camellia
Camellia
parviflora Camellia
Camellia
pitardii Camellia
Camellia
pleurocarpa Camellia
Camellia
polyodonta Camellia
Camellia
pubipetala Camellia
Camellia
reticulata Camellia
Camellia
rosiflora Camellia
Camellia
rusticana – snow camellia Camellia
Camellia
salicifolia Camellia
Camellia
saluenensis Camellia
Camellia
sasanqua Camellia
Camellia
semiserrata Camellia sinensis
Camellia sinensis
– tea plant Camellia taliensis
Camellia taliensis
– also used to make tea like C. sinensis Camellia
Camellia
transnokoensis Camellia
Camellia
tsaii Camellia
Camellia
tunghinensis Camellia
Camellia
vietnamensis Camellia
Camellia
× williamsii Camellia
Camellia
yunnanensis

Cultural significance[edit]

Portrait of a New Zealand suffragette, circa 1880. The sitter wears a white camellia, symbolic of support for advancing women's rights.

The Camellia
Camellia
family of plants in popular culture.

Sacramento, California
Sacramento, California
is nicknamed the Camellia
Camellia
City. The camellia is the state flower of Alabama. The Camellia
Camellia
Bowl is a post-season college football game under the auspices of the NCAA. The Lady of the Camellias
The Lady of the Camellias
is named for the camellia. Augusta National Golf Club's 10th hole is named Camellia. Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
wrote a poem entitled "Camellia" about the camellia. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem destroys Mrs. Dubose's camellia bushes out of anger due to some insensitive comments she had made about his family. Later on in the book, Jem is given a camellia bud by the dying Mrs. Dubose. Camellia
Camellia
buds are an iconic symbol for the Chanel
Chanel
fashion house's haute couture; a tradition started by Coco Chanel
Chanel
herself. Camellias have a major significance in the Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
film Sanjuro. White camellias became a symbol of New Zealand women's right to vote and feature on the country's ten-dollar note. The Knights of the White Camelia
Knights of the White Camelia
was an organization similar to the Ku Klux Klan. Temple City, California's city slogan since 1944 has been "Temple City, Home of Camellias."

See also[edit]

List of Award of Garden Merit
Award of Garden Merit
camellias

References[edit]

^ Kroupa, Sebestian (Nov 2015). "Ex epistulis Philippinensibus: Georg Joseph Kamel SJ (1661–1706) and His Correspondence Network". Centaurus. 57 (4): 246, 255. doi:10.1111/1600-0498.12099. ISSN 1600-0498.  ^ Mair and Hoh (2009). ^ The International Camellia
Camellia
Society. Flowers of Camellias. ^ How to Use Japanese Camellia
Camellia
(Tsubaki) Oil. [1]. ^ Harder et al. (2005) ^ Journal of Plant
Plant
Research, September 2016, Volume 129, Issue 5, pp 823–831, Camellia
Camellia
nanningensis sp. nov.: the earliest fossil wood record of the genus Camellia
Camellia
(Theaceae) from East Asia by Lu-Liang Huang, Jian-Hua Jin, Cheng Quan and Alexei A. ^ Kaemfer, Amoenitates exoticae, 1712, noted by Alice M. Coats, Garden Shrubs
Shrubs
and Their Histories (1964) 1992, s.v. "Camellia". ^ Coats (1964) 1992. ^ The New York Botanical Garden, Curtis' Botanical Magazine, Volume X Bronx, New York: The New York Botanical Garden, 1797 ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.  ^ "RHS Plant
Plant
Selector Camellia
Camellia
'Cornish Snow' (cuspidata × saluenensis) AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-29.  ^ "RHS Plant
Plant
Selector Camellia
Camellia
'Cornish Spring' (cuspidata × japonica) AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-29.  ^ "RHS Plant
Plant
Selector Camellia
Camellia
'Francie L' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-29.  ^ "RHS Plant
Plant
Selector Camellia
Camellia
'Freedom Bell' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-29.  ^ "RHS Plant
Plant
Selector Camellia
Camellia
'Inspiration' (reticulata × saluenensis) AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-29.  ^ "RHS Plant
Plant
Selector Camellia
Camellia
'Leonard Messel' (reticulata × williamsii) AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-29.  ^ "RHS Plant
Plant
Selector Camellia
Camellia
'Royalty' (japonica × reticulata) AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-29.  ^ "RHS Plant
Plant
Selector Camellia
Camellia
'Spring Festival' (cuspidata hybrid) AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-29.  ^ a b "RHS Plant
Plant
Selector Camellia
Camellia
'Tom Knudsen' (japonica × reticulata) AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 

Further reading[edit]

Harder, A.; Holden–Dye, L.; Walker, R. & Wunderlich, F. (2005): Mechanisms of action of emodepside. Parasitology Research 97(Supplement 1): S1-S10. doi:10.1007/s00436-005-1438-z (HTML abstract) Mair, V.; Hoh, E. (2009): The True History of Tea. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-25146-1.

External links[edit]

Wikispecies
Wikispecies
has information related to Camellia

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Camellia.

The International Camellia
Camellia
Society The American Camellia
Camellia
Society The Southeastern Camellia
Camellia
Society Website with many Camellia
Camellia
illustrations from European and Japanese Camellia
Camellia
Books First Public Camellia
Camellia
Show historical marker

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q212815 APDB: 189042 EoL: 38389 EPPO: 1CAHG FoC: 105380 GBIF: 3189634 GRIN: 1985 iNaturalist: 83058 IPNI: 39017-1 ITIS: 500689 NCBI: 4441 PLANTS: CAMEL2

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