Saturday, August 23, 2008

Camellia reticulata

Originating from the Yunnan province in China, the exquisite and sumptuous flowers of Camellia reticulata are regarded there as a symbol of good fortune and wealth.
In the home garden ,they develop as an open and sparsely foliaged shrub with leaves which have serrated margins and a slightly quilted appearance. Most are slow growers ,though grafting onto Camellia sasanqua rootstock makes them more vigorous. They need less moisture and nutrients than other Camellias and are adaptable to light well drained soil.
A well grown specimen of Camellia reticulata would make an ideal feature plant in a small courtyard if accompanied by a clump forming bamboo ,topiary and grasses.
Last weekend these beauties were on display at Legacy House in Market Street ,Wollongong, a show put on by Camellias Illawarra Inc. Here are some of the blooms which were on display.

Champion Bloom: Ruta Hagman

Reserve Champion: Ted Craig
Champion Australian Raised Cultivar: Alaskan Queen
Champion Formal Double Bloom: Valentines Day Variegated

2017 update: I often get asked about where to obtain good sized Reticulatas but they remain elusive as many of the specialist Camellia growers are no longer in business.

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