Camellias for Fall Bloom
In order to develop Camellias with increased cold hardiness, Dr. William Ackerman of the U.S. National Arboretum hybridized hardy C. oleifera with traditional garden Camellias. From thousands of seedlings the best were selected and field tested in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, where they proved themselves able to withstand temperatures below 0°F with little or no damage. They proved their mettle in severe winters in which many traditional Camellias were severely injured, while established cold-hardy Camellias came through with only minor leaf burn. The following introductions bloom in October and November. Their abundant bloom and fresh colors are a delight in mid to late fall, and the small glossy leaves and generally dense habit are attractive year round. In our area these Camellias generally reach 3-5 feet in a few years. Sometimes they continue to grow after many years into fairly sizable shrubs, though this seems to be the exception. To do their best, Camellias must have rich, acid soil, and they must be planted where they're protected from winter sun. Protection from winter wind is also helpful, but winter sun is actually more damaging than wind. Be sure not to plant Camellias too deep as they must have excellent drainage, but at the same time, they should never dry out. Camellias in Tree Tubes. We grow many of our Camellias in 1.5-qt. pots, which are 4x6-inch Tree Tubes. These plants are identified by TT after the size measurement. These Camellias are 2 years old, meaning that they were propagated in 2010 and grown on in 2011 and 2012. They're now ready to be planted out, but as they're still youngsters, they'll require some extra care to do their best. They may be planted in a carefully tended, partly shaded site, or you can pot them up in order to keep a sharp eye on them. Don't use too big a pot—a 6-inch diameter pot should be fine—and be sure the growing medium is loose and well draining. Water only when the pots are noticeably lighter and the plants are just about to dry out. Keep in mind that these young plants will not have their full hardiness for a couple of years. For the first winter potted young Camellias can be overwintered in a cool greenhouse, or you can plunge the pots into well-drained soil, mulch well, and protect with a burlap barrier filled with straw or oak leaves. This “mulch and protect” procedure is also advisable with young Camellias in the ground. Keep in mind that Camellias achieve their maximum hardiness only once they're fairly mature. Until then, it's a good idea to give Camellias extra winter protection in the form of heavy mulches; a burlap barrier can also help the first winter or two, although this should not be necessary in the long run. Selecting our Specimen Plants will also shorten the time until your Camellias achieve their maximum hardiness.
Camellia 'Arctic Snow'
Large, single white flowers with light pink markings appear in late fall on a vigorous, floriferous plant. Growth is upright-spreading. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Ashton's Ballet'
Just released from Dr. Ackerman, 'Ashton's Ballet' has big, full flowers of a rich two-tone pink, dark pink on the outside, paler on the inside. Hard to describe but easy to enjoy! The flattened rose-form flowers are quite large and appear in November (and into December if weather permits) on a compact but upright shrub. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Ashton's Snow'
White single to semidouble flowers bloom from early November to late January, as weather permits. Thick, leathery leaves are very dark green. It forms a dense, rounded shrub. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Ashton's Supreme'
Recently introduced, 'Ashton's Supreme' is one of the most floriferous of Dr. Ackerman's fall-blooming Camellias, and the closest to red yet developed in this group. Scads of deep pink, nearly red, double flowers open in October and November. Growth is upright and dense. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Eskimo Dawn'
This really beautiful new introduction from North Carolina bears loads of pink buds which open to bright white semidouble flowers. The flowers are large, 3 or 4 inches across, and have a nice, formal shape, unusual for a fall-blooming Camellia. Its spreading, slightly weeping habit displays the flowers nicely. Z. 6b-9
Camellia 'Londontowne Blush'
Big pale pink flowers are semidouble with a prominent whorl of golden stamens in the center. Plant is vigorous with dense, upright growth. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Snow Flurry'
Abundant white peony-form flowers appear in late fall on a dense, spreading plant. If the fall is cool, we sometimes have to wait until late October or November to see a good display of flowers, but we forget our earlier impatience once the sumptuous white flowers make their welcome appearance. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Twilight Glow'
A lovely Camellia from Clifford Parks. Silvery rose-pink flowers are attractively frilly and appear in mid to late fall. Flowers first present a bell shape before subsequently opening flat. The fine foliage is glossy and particularly attractive. This spreading Camellia forms a compact shrub that has proved to be quite hardy. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Winter's Cupid'
You'll fall in love with these semidouble white flowers flushed with pink. A large central cluster of golden yellow anthers enhances the effect, and the curved and fluted petals only add to the charm. A slower growing camellia with thick, leathery dark green foliage. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Winter's Fancy'
Pretty medium to light pink semidouble flowers with yellow stamens. Flowers remind us of 'Winter's Joy', but growth is upright and rounded (rather than straight skywards) Z. 6b-9
Camellia 'Winter's Interlude'
Beautiful small semidouble lavender-pink flowers, sometimes with a yellow anemone center, grace this selection in late October. This upright-growing plant has also shown outstanding cold hardiness in recent winters, and we have a report from a gardener in Maine who is successfully growing it in her Zone 5 garden with burlap protection in winter. One of our favorites. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Winter's Joy'
We were thrilled last fall to see that, as always, the plants we would be shipping this spring were full of flowers. And what blooms! Sumptuous, semidouble flowers of a rich pink were incredibly radiant last October and November, and they lifted our spirits every time we passed by. 'Winter's Joy' indeed! The growth habit of this Camellia is upright and narrow, so it would be useful in one of those tight spots that could use a bit of cheer in late fall. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Winter's Peony'
Pink semidouble flowers with a loose peony form open in mid to late fall. The plant is dense and bushy, growing generally upright but with a similar spread. Especially attractive leaves are glossy black-green. Z. 6b-9
Camellia 'Winter's Rose'
Breathtakingly beautiful shell-pink flowers open from October until December. The opening buds (which look just like rosebuds) are just as lovely as the fully open flowers with their formal double form. 'Winter's Rose' is also a true miniature Camellia with a very slow growth rate—only a few inches a year, reaching about a foot after 5 years. In time it can grow to 2-3 feet. The glossy leaves are small and black-green, and 'Winter's Rose' has proved to be one of the hardiest of the Ackerman Camellias in spite of (or perhaps because of) its extremely slow rate of growth and diminutive size. Be sure to plant 'Winter's Rose' where it will receive shade during blooming season as the subtle coloration will be lost in full sun. Giving this treasured Camellia special care the first few years will provide bountiful pleasures during bloom! Z. (5b?)6-8
Limit one, please
Camellia 'Winter's Snowman'
A great fall-blooming white Camellia. You'll know there is something special about this selection, even before flowers open, when you see glossy new growth in spring and summer flushed a rich burgundy color! Flowers are fairly large and open in midautumn. They are white, slightly cupped, with an anemone center—sure to delight. Z. 6-9
Camellia 'Winter's Star'
Large reddish pink single flowers with orange anthers bloom over a long period in fall, from late September through November (and sometimes later). Of the fall-blooming cold-hardy Camellias, 'Winter's Star' is the most vigorous grower and has the largest flowers. It is usually the first Camellia to bloom in fall, and by late summer we find ourselves checking the garden every day to watch the buds expanding as the nights get cooler. It is always a thrilling event when the first 'Winter's Star' flower opens, inaugurating the fall Camellia season! A vigorous, upright-growing shrub. Z. 6-9
Camellia oleifera 'Lu Shan Snow'
The mother of many cold-hardy Camellias! Camellia oleifera is the hardy Camellia species that supplied the cold-hardy genes that led to the development of the Ackerman cold-hardy fall-blooming Camellias, and 'Lu Shan Snow' is one of the 2 Camellia oleifera plants that survived record cold winters at the National Arboretum in the 1970's. It's a valuable ornamental as well with single white flowers in fall and stunning powdery cinnamon-colored bark on older specimens. The original plant at the National Arboretum is underplanted with Rohdea japonica, and it has grown tall enough that one can stroll beneath its canopy. Z. 6-9
Limit one, please.
Camellia sasanqua 'Long Island Pink'
We usually consider C. sasanqua rather tender, but this selection, found in a Long Island, New York, garden, is a reliable producer of single pink flowers in mid-fall. The foliage may be the most beautiful of all hardy, fall-blooming Camellias, as its large leaves are dark green and highly polished. This Camellia grows as an upright shrub, densely clothed with foliage, which emerges bronze. Z. 6-9
Camellias for Spring Bloom
Cultivated for centuries in China and Japan, Camellia japonica has made itself equally at home in the lower South, where it has been treasured for generations. Evergreen shrubs with large polished leaves and sumptuous flowers opening from November to April, these are the classic Camellias one sees in southern gardens. The plant itself is hardy to Zone 7, but the plump flower buds, which form in late summer and remain prominent all winter, can be damaged by temperatures below 10°F on most traditional cultivars. We offer some of the hardiest cultivars of traditional Camellias, as well as introductions from Clifford Parks of the University of North Carolina. For over 30 years Dr. Parks has been breeding Camellias with a view towards increasing hardiness, particularly flower-bud hardiness, and the “April” series is the splendid result of this work. We are also offering releases from Dr. William Ackerman. The Camellia japonica we offer are some of the hardiest and should be useful in Zone 7 as well as in protected sites in Zone 6. Blooming in the North usually takes place in early spring. Camellias become sizable shrubs in the South, but in the North, they generally remain below 6 feet. Careful planting is the single most crucial factor in ensuring success. Plant C. japonica in rich acid soil in part shade. Shelter from desiccating winds and, more importantly, harsh winter sun, will help protect the flower buds over winter. Camellias must have excellent drainage, but at the same time they should never dry out. This may seem like a bit of a fuss, but when you see these flowers in your garden, we think you'll agree it's worthwhile! Camellias in Tree Tubes. We grow many of our Camellias in 1.5-qt. pots, which are 4x6-inch Tree Tubes. These plants are identified by TT after the size measurement. These Camellias are 2 years old, meaning that they were propagated in 2010 and grown on in 2011 and 2012. They're now ready to be planted out, but as they're still youngsters, they'll require some extra care to do their best. They may be planted in a carefully tended, partly shaded site, or you can pot them up in order to keep a sharp eye on them. Don't use too big a pot—a 6-inch diameter pot should be fine—and be sure the growing medium is loose and well draining. Water only when the pots are noticeably lighter and the plants are just about to dry out. Keep in mind that these young plants will not have their full hardiness for a couple of years. For the first winter potted young Camellias can be overwintered in a cool greenhouse, or you can plunge the pots into well-drained soil, mulch well, and protect with a burlap barrier filled with straw or oak leaves. This “mulch and protect” procedure is also advisable with young Camellias in the ground. Selecting our Specimen Plants will also shorten the time until your Camellias achieve their maximum hardiness.
Camellia 'Arctic Dawn'
Just out from Dr. Ackerman, this spring blooming hybrid Camellia has neon coral-pink flowers, often with an anemone center, and as much as 4 inches across. Especially glossy, dark green leaves and an upright growth habit make this one a winner. Z. 6b-9
Camellia 'Pink Icicle'
Sumptuous rose or peony-form double flowers of a rich and clear pink. Some flowers will also have an anemone center with many small pink petaloids interspersed among the yellow stamens. This C. japonica hybrid from Dr. Ackerman becomes a compact, upright-growing shrub. Z. 6b-9
Camellia 'Red Fellow'
Really bright, neon-red flowers with glowing golden centers will light up your April garden. The large semidouble flowers are well displayed on a spreading plant with large, rich green leaves. A newly released hybrid Camellia from Dr. Ackerman. Z. 6b-9
Camellia 'Spring Awakening'
This vigorous camellia with fine-textured foliage produces rose-pink semidouble flowers in clusters in early spring. Give this one a try in a protected spot, and enjoy its fresh color while the weather is still cold. Z. 7-9
Camellia 'Spring Cardinal'
Formal double flowers glow crimson red against dense, dark green leaves. This hybrid from Dr. Ackerman blooms fairly early in spring. Growth is compact and upright. Z. 6b-9
Camellia japonica 'April Dawn'
We've never seen a Camellia japonica we didn't like, but we are particularly excited about this one which is the first cold-hardy Camellia with variegated flowers! Multicolored formal double flowers display random pink markings on a white or shell-pink ground. It sets abundant buds and blooms over a long period in spring, so it's a thrill to watch each bud as it opens to see what pattern will be displayed. Dr. Parks points out that the variegation is genetic and not caused by a virus. A vigorous plant with an upright habit. Z. 6b-9
Camellia japonica 'April Melody'
This strong-growing Camellia from Clifford Parks produces a sequence of single, red flowers over a long season beginning in early spring. Even when not in bloom, the large highly polished leaves create a lush subtropical effect. Z. 6b-9
Camellia japonica 'April Pink'
Formal double flowers in soft pink make their appearance in early spring. The smallish flowers are borne in considerable abundance on a plant with dense, compact growth. Excellent hardiness. Z. 6b-9
Camellia japonica 'April Remembered'
Show-quality semidouble flowers in shades of cream and pink decorate this bushy Camellia for a long period in spring. Sturdy and cold hardy, this vigorous selection fared as well as Camellia oleifera and its hybrids in North Carolina field trials. The large, glossy leaves are also particularly attractive, and the plant puts out vigorous growth. Z. 6b-9
Camellia japonica 'April Rose'
Wonderful, show-quality, formal double flowers of a rich rose-red open reliably in mid-spring, even after unusually cold winters. We've enjoyed this plant in our garden for years, but it never fails to thrill us anew nearly every spring with its knockout flowers. Z. 6b-9
Camellia japonica 'April Snow'
Finally, a great white-flowered, spring-blooming hardy Camellia! From Clifford Parks, 'April Snow' sets lots of buds that open to sumptuous milky white, rose-form flowers. The plant is compact and slow growing, and the flowers open rather late, avoiding most late frosts. Z. 6b-9
Camellia japonica 'Cream Puff' - Fragrant Camellia
A light lemony fragrance, unusual in Camellias, enhances enjoyment of this introduction from Dr. William Ackerman. Flowers are large, chalky white, and petals have heavy substance and velvety texture. A compact Camellia with columnar growth, it bears loads of flowers in spring. Z. 7b-9
Camellia japonica 'Kuro Delight'
Recently released by Dr. Ackerman, 'Kuro Delight' displays large, maroon red semidouble flowers over a long period in midseason. One of the most beautiful features of this Camellia is its long, narrow leaves, which look rather like peach leaves. The leaves are also highly polished and dark blue-green in color, making this spreading shrub attractive even when not in bloom. Quite cold hardy, too. Z. 6-9
Camellia japonica 'Meredith'
Nice large semidouble to Peony-form flowers on a compact-growing shrub. Flowers are light pink, sometimes with a crimson edge, and are very pretty. 'Meredith' is a chance seedling, found in a Maryland garden, of the old C. japonica 'Berenice Boddy'. Dr. Ackerman has been evaluating 'Meredith' for some time and rates it as very hardy. Z. 6-9
Camellia japonica 'Mrs. Lyman Clarke'
Sumptuous peony-form flowers are crammed with petals, deep rose at the outer edge and shading to white in the center. One of the most gorgeous Camellias we have ever seen! Compact growth assures that flowers remain at a comfortable viewing level, even in warmer climates. Z. 7b-9
Camellia japonica 'Nagasaki'
Striking flowers are cardinal red with white marbling—undeniably cheerful in late winter! The impressive flowers are semidouble with large outer petals and a few smaller petals. Growth is slow and spreading, ideal for maintaining in containers where a suitable environment for overwintering is available. This classic Japanese cultivar, originally known as 'Mikenjaku', was brought to the West in 1889 where it was renamed 'Nagasaki'. Z. 7b-9
Camellia japonica 'Paulette Goddard'
We're happy to be able to offer this famous Camellia which is rare in the trade. Dark red flowers bloom in early spring with a loose Peony form and are of show quality. This Camellia is most renowned, however, for being the hardiest of the traditional Camellia japonica, and Dr. Ackerman has commented to us that it is "incredibly hardy." The plant is vigorous and upright. Z. 6b-9
Bushy Specimen Plants, grown in 3-gallon pots.
Camellia japonica 'Sawada's Dream'
Impossibly beautiful, 'Sawada's Dream' is one of those classic formal double Camellias that has its petals arranged in a spiral. Its blooming last spring in our nursery brought everyone together for group oohing and aahing. Flowers are white with outer petals shaded pale pink. A Camellia to dream about! Z. 7b-9
Camellia japonica 'Spring Promise'
In the North Camellia japonica usually blooms in early spring, but this selection from Clifford Parks is practically the only Camellia whose flowers open in our garden on mild winter days as well as in early spring. In fact, during a mild January a couple years ago, the New York Times showed 'Spring Promise' blooming in New York! The medium-sized flowers are a striking rose-opal color, and the petals have exceptional substance. Flower bud hardiness is excellent, and the shrub is upright with large glossy leaves. Z. 6b-9
Stocky plants, grown in 1.5-gallon pots.