It can be difficult to find appealing color in outdoor landscapes during the cold winter months. Here in the South, we are fortunate to have the camellia. This evergreen shrub is a native of Japan and was first introduced to the Southern United States in Charleston, South Carolina, at the end of the 18th century.
Many folks don’t realize that perhaps the most widely used camellia globally is Camellia sinensis, commonly known as the tea plant. Yes, indeed, the South loves some tea. Typically enjoyed hot in the wintertime as we enjoy the Camellia japonica for its beautiful blooms.
Since their arrival, camellias have become a staple of the Southern garden for their beautiful winter flowers. They are perhaps one of the most spectacular bloomers for late fall to early spring. Individual blooms are relatively large in size, up to 5 inches across, and come in many forms — single, semi-double, formal double, peony, anemone and rose forms. Colors are red, pink, and white and also variegated combinations of two of the three traditional colors.
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