As beautiful as sugar maple foliage is in the fall, camellia
blooms are unrivaled in their fall and winter beauty. As
the rest of the garden is waning, camellia
provide a fresh infusion of color, delicate form, and subtle scent.
"About a hundred years ago the Camellia was one of the most popular of
flowering shrubs, grown for the most part in greenhouses. Then, as
decades passed, this popularity waned as that of Rhododendrons
increased, until only a few named varieties were listed compared to to
many dozens in the 1850s. Outside they were only grown in a few great
gardens in the south and west," note the authors of Modern Shrubs.
Now, they are poular again "partly because gardeners have begun to
realise that the Camellia is a far hardier plant than most people
Sometimes known simply as sasanquas, these nearly
care-free small flowering shrubs bloom from fall into
Introduced in the 1930s, these plants are a blooming marvel uniquely
suited to the climates of the Deep South. Most sasanqua flowers range
just two to five inches across in shades of white and shades, but what
they lack in size they make up in volume, covering the
bushes with blooms that seem endless.
Sasanqua bushes are frequently used as hedges because their small
glossy leaves take readily to pruning, which is best done toward the
end of their blooming or right after blooming when they go
dormant. Annual pruning produces a sharp formal effect while
pruning every two years produces a more casual look.
'Yuletide') An exceptional winter plant, this evergreen boasts
single, brilliant, fiery red blooms centered with bright yellow stamens
standing out in high contrast against dark green glossy
foliage. Late season. Prefers neutral to acidic well drained
soils. Sun or shade. Slow growth 8 to 10 feet tall 3 to 4 feet wide.
sasanqua ‘Shi Shi
Gashira’) Originating in Japan in
1894, this plant grows to three feet tall, has
deep pink flowers, and a very long blooming period.
The plant is suitable for container growing and does well in
partial shade or full sun.. As the bloom
ends, the petals shatter, producing a bright pink ribbon on the ground,
a mirror image of the blooms on the plant, and a splendid moment of
An evergreen with more than 300 cultivars all with fragrant flowers and
glossy green leaves. Flower form and colour, as well as plant habitat,
are variable, depending on the cultivar.