clustered camellia produces hundreds of glistening
white flowers that yield a tantalizing fragrance.
fragrance can be one of lifeís greatest enjoyments and
experiencing it this time of the year from the clustered
camellia is even more of a treat. This camellia, a
species known botanically as Camellia grisjii, yields a
flood of sweet perfume as it loads up with hundreds of
sense of smell is one of lifeís treasures discovered
while we are young. When my son was about 14 months old
I saw him bending over to put his nose in a flower. How
did he know?
is very powerful; it can actually take you back to
another time, another place via your memory. It is like
playing back an old VHS home movie. You may remember
grandmotherís porch where the roses were close by
climbing a trellis or perhaps out in the back yard where
the giant wisteria would flood the area with its
it comes to camellias, fragrance is not a trait most
gardeners would list. It is more about the richly
colored ornamental blossoms in a host of forms such as
peony, double, rose and anemone. The clustered camellia
however, is not only exceptional but decidedly
is native to Eastern China and though produced by our
nurseries it is considered threatened overseas due to
loss of habitat. It is a compact evergreen shrub or
small tree that can reach 9 feet and is cold hardy to
zone 7b. You can choose to trim and keep shrub form or
left natural other than a little selective pruning.
quantity of blooms is simply incredible, reminiscent of
an English dogwood (Philadelphus coronarius). It can
command attention even from a distance. Those who drive
by will have to take notice and then those who visit
will be lured closer as they somehow become magically
captured by the spell of the smell permeating the air
from a dozen feet away.
the landscape the obvious companion plants would be
other camellias that are in shades of pink or red.
Incorporate daffodils, like the old fashion campernelles,
and you will have a most picturesque garden. At the
Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens the huge palmate
leaves of nearby palms serve as a dramatic contrast in
all other camellias they require fertile well-drained
acidic soil. So pay attention to your soil preparation
working in 3 or 4 inches of organic matter and plant on
raised beds. While many camellias are planted in the
fall, spring is also an exceptional time for planting
the queen of woody shrubs.
perform best in high filtered or shifting light, versus
full sun. In our garden the 900 plus camellias are
growing under a canopy of tall castanopsis trees
allowing just the right amount of light for not only
spectacular scenery but vigorous healthy growth.
evergreen leaves, and hundreds of buds and blooms with a
tantalizing fragrance make the clustered camellia a
winner. Adding some to your garden will ensure that your
garden is not only beautiful, but that you also will be
creating memories for your children and grandchildren.