John Wang – a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

On January 25, 2009 I visited a well known camellia hybridizer John Wang, a Chinese American living in San Francisco Bay Area.

John Wang places camellias inside the house to hand pollinate them. Room temperature increases the chance of success and no insects can interfere. John does not believe in open pollination of camellias – he chooses parents very carefully because he cannot afford to plant thousands of chance seedlings like for example Nuccio’s Nurseries does:

John Wang places camellias inside the house to hand pollinate them

This camellia hybrid, created by John Wang, is a seedling of Tama-no-ura:

A camellia hybrid created by John Wang

Another seedling from John Wang has a rare yellow tint:

A camellia hybrid, created by John Wang, has a rare yellow tint


John grows most of his camellias in plastic containers. He constructed an elaborate shading structure using PVC pipes and shade cloth:

A path in John Wang's camellia garden

John uses fish tanks to grow camellia seedlings. Under room temperature, high humidity and the absence of wind, the seedlings germinate and grow very fast:

John Wang uses fish tanks to grow camellia seedlings

John Wang uses fish tanks to grow camellia seedlings

John Wang uses fish tanks to grow camellia seedlings

John quickly grafts all his seedlings. This significantly reduces time needed to evaluate the seedlings. Without grafting a seedling typically starts to bloom after 4-6 years, sometimes 15 years or more. Grafted seedling may start to bloom in a couple of years.

John Wang quickly grafts all his seedlings

A small-leaved Camellia species from the garden of John Wang. Neither John nor I can recognize this species. I suspect it is related to C. lutchuensis or even possible C. sinensis. Anybody has any idea?

A small-leaved Camellia species from the garden of John Wang

More pictures:

John Wang, a well known camellia hybridizer

John Wang, a well known camellia hybridizer

An unidentified red camellia from the garden of John Wang:

An unidentified red camellia from the garden of John Wang

An unidentified camellia from the garden of John Wang:

An unidentified camellia from the garden of John Wang

Wild Camellia yuhsienensis Hu (攸县油茶) from the garden of John Wang.

Wild Camellia yuhsienensis Hu (攸县油茶) from the garden of John Wang

See also an article about Camellia hybridization written by John Wang: http://www.jhnews.com.cn/gb/content/2003-03/02/content_158713.htm

2 Responses to “John Wang – a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area”


  • What a magnificient Camellia’s.
    Thank you for sharing with us these collection.

    warmest regards

    Ton Wijnen
    Holland

  • Can Mr. Wang’s camellias be purchased somewhere? If so, where? I live in San Francisco and would like to plant a camellia in a container on my covered balcony. Any recommendations?

    Thanks,

    R La Rose

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