Thursday, March 27, 2014

Camellias in Bloom

Out my window, I see a riot of color from spring blooms to fresh, green leaves. Many of the early bloomers such as daffodil (Narcissus sp.), forsythia (Forsythia sp.), flowering cherry and plum trees (Prunus sp.) are hurrying to catch up after a chilly winter.

The camellias (Camellia sp.) around Portland are in full glory. Camellias are treasured for the variety of bloom colors and textures along with the glossy, dark green foliage. They are long-lived large shrubs or small trees and are very useful in the landscape as specimen trees or hedges.

 I love the delicate pink of the above camellia. Unfortunately, it can "brown out" pretty quickly in the rain.

Check out some of these petal and color combinations.


Or how about this one with streaky, bi-color petals?

This one is quite unique with serrated edges to the petals.

I don't know most of the cultivar names or how old they are but I am guessing that most of the camellias that ring my property and many around Portland were planted in the 1950's.

You can view these beauties and many others at several gardens around town in the coming month. The Oregon Camellia Society is having an exhibition at the Portland Japanese Garden this weekend, March 29-30, 2014 and will have members on hand to discuss care, feeding, pruning techniques and much more.

Or how about a festival dedicated to just camellias at the Newberg Camellia Festival, April 12, 2014? There will be fun activities such as a 5k/10k walk and run, Swing band performances, Bonsai demonstrations and much more.

Lastly, come enjoy the camellias at Lan Su Chinese Garden. On April 26, 2014, the garden is hosting a plant talk called "Not Your Ordinary Camellia", with Larry Landauer, who will speak on camellias propagated in Oregon, many of which he propagated himself! I wonder if he had a hand in propagating some of the varieties in my garden?


  1. Camellias are so beautiful from winter into spring. Even though you don't know their names, they are certainly gorgeous. They are great as a shady screen too!

  2. Yes! When you add in the Sasanqua camellias, you've got blooms October through April. Although, I was a bit disappointed that a killer freeze distroyed the blooms on my C. Sasanqua (forgot the variety at the moment) last fall. Of course the plant is fine with its glossy, dark green foliage.


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