name = "Camellia" bush

image_width = 280px
image_caption = "Camellia japonica"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Ericales
familia = Theaceae
genus = "Camellia"
genus_authority = L.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = About 100–250 species, including: "Camellia assimilis" "Camellia azalea" "Camellia brevistyla" "Camellia caudata" "Camellia chekiangoleosa" "Camellia chrysantha" – Golden Camellia "Camellia connata" "Camellia crapnelliana" "Camellia cuspidata" "Camellia euphlebia"
"Camellia euryoides" "Camellia forrestii" "Camellia fraterna" "Camellia furfuracea" "Camellia granthamiana" "Camellia grijsii" "Camellia hongkongensis" - Hong Kong Camellia "Camellia irrawadiensis" "Camellia japonica" – Japanese Camellia "Camellia kissii" "Camellia lutchuensis" "Camellia miyagii" "Camellia nitidissima" - "Camellia chrysantha", Yellow Camellia
"Camellia nokoensis" "Camellia oleifera" - Tea Oil Camellia, Oil-seed Camellia "Camellia parviflora" "Camellia pitardii" "Camellia polyodonta" "Camellia reticulata" "Camellia rosiflora" "Camellia rusticana" – Snow Camellia "Camellia salicifolia" "Camellia saluenensis" "Camellia sasanqua" – Christmas Camellia "Camellia semiserrata" "Camellia sinensis" – Tea "Camellia taliensis" "Camellia transnokoensis" "Camellia tsaii" "Camellia vietnamensis" "Camellia yunnanensis"

"Camellia" (zh-cp|c=茶花|p=Cháhuā) (Japanese: 椿 "Tsubaki") is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae, native to eastern and southern Asia from the Himalaya east to Japan and Indonesia. There are 100–250 existent species, with some controversy over the exact number. The genus was named by Linnaeus after Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel.

They are evergreen shrubs and small trees 2–20 m tall. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, thick, serrated, usually glossy, and 3–17 cm long. The flowers are large and conspicuous, 1–12 cm diameter, with (in natural conditions) 5–9 petals; colour varies from white to pink and red, and yellow in a few species. The fruit is a dry capsule, sometimes subdivided into up to 5 compartments, each compartment containing up to 8 seeds.

The genus is generally adapted to acidic soils, and does not grow well on chalk or other calcium-rich soils. Most species also have a high rainfall requirement and will not tolerate drought. Some Camellias have been known to grow without much rainfall.

"Camellia" species are used as food plants by the larvae of a number of "Lepidoptera" species. See List of Lepidoptera that feed on Camellia.

Cultivation and uses

"Camellia sinensis" is of major commercial importance because tea is made from its leaves. Tea oil is a sweet seasoning and cooking oil made by pressing the seeds of "Camellia sinensis" or "Camellia oleifera".

Many other camellias are grown as ornamental plants for their flowers; about 3,000 cultivars and hybrids have been selected, many with double flowers. "Camellia japonica" (often simply called Camellia) 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" × "C. saluenensis"). They are highly valued in Japan and elsewhere for their very early flowering, often among the first flowers to appear in the late winter. Late frosts can damage the flowers.

PF1022A, a metabolite of Mycelia sterile, a fungus that inhabits the leaves of "Camellia japonica" is chemically altered to synthesise emodepside, an anthelmintic drug.

Camellias have a slow growth rate. Typically they will grow about 30 centimetres a year until mature although this varies depending on variety and location.

As a favourite flower


"Camellia japonica" is the state flower of Alabama as well as the city flower of Sacramento, California; Newberg, Oregon; Slidell, Louisiana; the Chinese municipality Chongqing; and of Matsue City in Shimane Prefecture, Japan as well as New Zealand.


* Elizabeth, the Queen Mother grew Camellia in all of her gardens. As her body was taken from Royal Lodge, Windsor to lie in state at Westminster Hall of the Palace of Westminster, a Camellia from her gardens was placed on top of the flag-draped coffin.
* Ralph Peer, the music industry pioneer often credited as the father of country music, was a president of the American Camellia Society.
* Coco Chanel was very well known for wearing a white Camellia.


* The heroine of the novel "The Lady of the Camellias" always wears a camellia as her symbol. She was based on the real-life French courtesan Marie Duplessis.
* In Akira Kurosawa's 1962 film, "Sanjuro", the main character takes on the surname 'Tsubaki' meaning camellia, which he happened to be looking at when asked for his name.
* The 1942 film Now Voyager starring Bette Davis as "Charlotte Vale" a middle aged spinster woman who is treated psychiatrically and as part of her treatment goes away on a cruise. While there she is romanced by a very charming Paul Henreid who affectionately calls her Camille and gives her camellias.
* In the manga Fruits Basket, the character Akito has a fondness for the camellia. This is because her true love, the character Shigure, gave her a camellia in their youth and proclaimed his love for her.
* In the manga Soul Eater, the character Tsubaki is named for the flower, and it is constantly brought up in episodes 10 and 11, that the way the scentless flower dies is tragic and unsettling, a reference to what would've occurred in battle, if Tsubaki hadn't had the emotional support from her partner, which allowed her to succeed in the fight against her brother, as she claimed that the Camellia did in fact have a scent.
* In chapter 11 of the novel "To Kill A Mockingbird", Jem receives one from the old lady he took care of after her death.

External links

* [ The International Camellia Society]
* [ The American Camellia Society]
* [ Plant nursery in Cornwall,England who specialise in camellias]
* [ The Southeastern Camellia Society]
* [ Website with many Camellia illustrations from European and Japanese Camellia Books]
* [ The Trancecarpathian Tour Agency Camellia Tour]
* [ Online Nursery (US) Specializing in Camellias]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Camellia — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Camellia (homonymie) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Camellia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda ? Camellia Camellia sinensis Clasificación científica …   Wikipedia Español

  • Camellia — Ca*mel li*a, n. [NL., after Georg Josef Kamel, or Camelli, a Jesuit who is said to have brought it from the East.] 1. (Bot.) An Asiatic genus of small shrubs, often with shining leaves and showy flowers. {Camellia Japonica} is much cultivated for …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Camellia — hat folgende Bedeutungen: Camellia, eine Pflanzengattung Camellia City, umgangssprachlich für Sacramento, Kalifornien Camellia (Algorithmus), ein Blockchiffre Diese Seite ist ein …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Camellia — Camellia: Camellia  научное название рода растений семейства Чайные; русское название рода  Камелия. Camellia  алгоритм симметричного блочного шифрования …   Википедия

  • camellia — [kə mēl′yə, kəmē′lē ə] n. [ModL, after Camelli, It form of the name of G. J. Kamel (1661 1706), Moravian Jesuit missionary to the Far East] 1. any of a genus (Camellia) of Asiatic evergreen trees and shrubs of the tea family, with glossy leaves… …   English World dictionary

  • Camellĭa — (C. L.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Ternstroemiaceae Camellieae, Monadelphia Polyandria L., nach dem Jesuiten G. J. Kamel (s.d.) benannt, mit fünfblätterigem Kelche u. mehreren dachziegelartigen Deckblättern, abfallenden, 5 unten… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Camellĭa — L. (Kamellie, Kamelie), Gruppe der Gattung Thea aus der Familie der Theazeen, benannt nach dem Jesuiten G. I. Camellus, der 1639 auf den Philippinen Pflanzen sammelte. Die Kamelien sind der Teestaude ähnliche Sträucher im Himalaja, in… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Camellia — Camellĭa, Pflanzengattg., s. Kamelie …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • camellia — 1753, named by Linnæus from Latinized form of G.J. Kamel (1661 1706), Jesuit who described the flora of the island of Luzon …   Etymology dictionary

  • camellia — is spelt with two l s, despite its pronunciation kǝ mee li ǝ …   Modern English usage

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