Gardening Magazine

Camellia Japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Camellia japonica 'Magnoliaeflora' (01/03/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’ (01/03/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Position: Dappled to full shade

Flowering: Late winter to early spring

Soil: Moist, well-drained, acidic

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Theaceae

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’ is an evergreen winter flowering shrub with a bushy habit. Its dark green leathery leaves are ovate with serrulate margins and a cuneate tip, paler on the underside, up to 11cm long and 6cm broad. Its young branches are purple/ brown becoming gray with age. Its pale pink semi double flowers have protruding yellow stamen are up to 10cm across and appear along the branches.

Camellia japonica 'Magnoliaeflora' Flower (01/03/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’ Flower (01/03/2015, Kew gardens, London)

The species Camellia japonica, commonly know as Japanese Camellia or Rose of Winter, is native to Japan, Korea and China. In it native habitat it grows as an understory plant in forests.

The etymological root of the binomial name Camellia is derived from and named after the botanist George Kamel. Japonica is derived from the Latin for ‘Japan’ as it was first discovered there by Engelbert Kaempfer in the eighteenth century.

The landscape architect may find Camellia japonica useful an evergreen, late winter flowering shrub which will tolerate shaded conditions and acidic soils. It should be positioned in a site sheltered from cold, dry winds and early morning sun as buds and flowers may be damaged by cold winds and late frosts.

Camellia japonica 'Magnoliaeflora' Leaf (01/03/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’ Leaf (01/03/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Ecologically, Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’ is of little wildlife value in the UK.

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’  prefers moist, humus rich,  fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers neutral to acidic soils.

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’ requires little maintenance. If necessary, pruning should be carried out after flowering.

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