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Camellia japonica: the winter rose

If you’re looking to plant a hardy and reliable evergreen shrub, then one of the plants Ladybrook Nursery would definitely recommend is the camellia japonica. Camellias are evergreen shrubs with simple, ovate, glossy, leathery leaves. They produce fragrant attractive blooms with solitary or clustered flowers early in the year. The added advantage of the camellia japonica is that it not only looks pretty when in flower in late winter and early spring, but their glossy evergreen foliage makes a striking focal point in any seasonal planting scheme and add structure and interest throughout the year.

All camellias need acid or neutral soil: however, if your garden has a limey soil then camellias can easily be grown in containers using ericaceous, or lime-free compost. Camellias are happiest in a semi -shaded position with a westerly or sheltered northerly aspect. Avoid planting camellias on south or east facing sites as their flowers may be spoilt by the early morning sun following frosty nights.

Camellia japonica ‘Brushfield’s Yellow’

Camellia japonica ‘Brushfield’s Yellow’ is the official state flower of Alabama. It’s an upright evergreen shrub with oval, glossy, dark green leaves. It bears creamy/white peony-like double flowers with pale yellow centres in late winter and early spring (March through to May).

Shrub

Height: 4m

Foliage: evergreen

Flower colour: creamy white anemone form double

Flowering: early spring

Aspect: partial to full shade/sheltered

Camellia japonica ‘Desire’

Camellia japonica ‘Desire’ is an RHS AGM award-winning shrub. It’s a vigorous, upright, evergreen shrub with elliptic, glossy, dark green leaves. It bears double, pale pink flowers with darker pink outer petals from mid-winter into early spring.

Shrub

Height: 8m

Foliage: evergreen

Flower colour: pale blush pink or white semi-double

Flowering: January to early March

Aspect: partial shade/sheltered

Camellia japonica ‘Dr King’

Camellia japonica ‘Doctor King’ is an upright to bushy, evergreen shrub with glossy, broadly elliptic, dark green leaves. It bears ruffled single to semi-double reddish-pink flowers with prominent yellow stamens in spring. (March to May)

Shrub

Height: 3m

Foliage: evergreen

Flower colour: semi-double reddish pink with yellow stamens

Flowering: spring

Aspect: full to partial shade/sheltered

Camellia japonica ‘Kramer’s Supreme’

Camellia japonica ‘Kramer’s Supreme’ is a fragrant and vigorous RHS award-winning shrub. ‘Kramer’s Supreme’ is a large, open, rounded, evergreen shrub with dark-green, glossy leaves. It bears large, red, fragrant flowers in mid-spring. (March to May)

Shrub

Height: 4m

Foliage: evergreen – dark green

Flower colour: large red fragrant

Flowering: spring

Aspect: full to partial shade/sheltered

Camellia japonica ‘Lady Campbell’

Camellia japonica ‘Lady Campbell’ is a vigorous, compact, upright, evergreen shrub with oval, glossy, dark green leaves. Lady Campbell produces masses of medium-sized, bright red, rose-form flowers up to 3-4 inches (7-10cm) in diameter from April-May.

Shrub

Height: 2m

Foliage: evergreen – dark green

Flower colour: red – double rose-form

Flowering: spring

Aspect: full to partial shade/sheltered

Camellia japonica ‘Silver Anniversary’

Camellia japonica ‘Silver Anniversary’ is an upright evergreen shrub with large white, peony-like flowers with contrasting golden yellow stamens that bloom from late winter to early spring. Light glossy evergreen foliage darkens over time.

Shrub

Height: 2.5m

Foliage: evergreen – dark green

Flower colour: white – peony-form with golden stamens

Flowering: spring

Aspect: full to partial shade/sheltered

Camellia japonica ‘Adolphe Audusson’

Camellia japonica ‘Adolphe Audusson’ is a large erect, yet compact, evergreen shrub with glossy, dark green leaves. It bears semi-double red/yellow flowers with yellow stamens in spring. Flowering February to mid-April.

Shrub

Height: 5m

Foliage: evergreen

Flower colour: large semi-double red

Flowering: early to mid-spring

Aspect: partial shade/sheltered

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