Asakura – a Japanese sasanqua with large flat semi-double white flowers and upright growing habit

Asakura (朝倉, あさくら) is a Japanese sasanqua cultivar with large, relatively flat semi-double white flowers and has a relatively vigorous upright growing habit. Asakura flower frequently has a pinkish edge early in the flower development. The stamens are relatively well developed, comparing to full double forms. It blooms relatively early. According to the book “Nippon Tsubaki – Sasanqua Meikan” (日本ツバキ・サザンカ名鑑), Asakura originated in Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture, and was named by Shunsuke Hisatomi. It is available in the United States from Nuccio’s Nurseries.

Asakura’s main “competitors” are Narumigata and White Doves (Mine-no-yuki). All three are fast growing with large white flowers.

Asakura versus Narumigata.

Narumigata flower is single, Asakura flower is semi-double.
Narumigata grows faster than Asakura, although Asakura is also a relatively fast growing.
Both Narumigata flower and Asakura flower have pink edges in the early stages of the flower development.

Asakura versus White Doves (Mine-no-yuki).

White Doves flower is fully double, Asakura flower is semi-double.
Asakura flower has a pinkish edge in its early stages, White Doves is completely white.
Asakura plant has a vertical habit, while White Doves is spreading.
Asakura flower is somewhat larger, more rounded, relatively more symmetrical and more flat than a typical flower of White Doves.

Comparing Asakuras with other sasanquas:

Asakura versus Kira Shiro Kantsubaki.

Asakura flower is larger, more rounded and more flat than the flower of Kira Shiro Kantsubaki.
Asakura has more pink on during early stages than the flower of Kira Shiro Kantsubaki.
Asakura’s branches are more flexible than branches of Kira Shiro Kantsubaki.
Asakura grows faster and has larger leaves than Kira Shiro Kantsubaki.

Asakura versus Leslie Ann and Little Pearl.

Asakura flower is larger, more rounded, relatively more symmetrical and more flat than the flower of Leslie Ann or Little Pearl.

Asakura versus Paradise Little Lianne.

Paradise Little Lianne is a miniature.
Asakura has much larger leaves, much faster growth and more vertical habit.
Asakura flower is more rounded, more flat and more symmetrical than the flower of Paradise Little Lianne.

Asakura versus Silver Dollar.

Asakura grows faster than Silver Dollar.
Asakura petals are straight, while Silver Dollar petals are wavy.
Asakura flower has a pink edge in its early stages, Silver Dollar flower is pure white.
Asakura flower is larger than the flower of Silver Dollar.

Asakura versus T.S. White (from Nuccio’s Nurseries).

Asakura petals are straight, while T.S. White petals are wavy.
T.S. White may have more petals than Asakura.
Asakura flower is larger than the flower of T.S. White.
T.S. White has undeveloped stamens, Asakura frequently has well-developed stamens.

Asakura versus White Dwarf Shishi.

White Dwarf Shishi is slow growing, Asakura is relatively fast growing.
Asakura has significantly larger leaves.
Asakura flower is more flat.
Asakura stamens are better developed.

3 Responses to “Asakura – a Japanese sasanqua with large flat semi-double white flowers and upright growing habit”


  • Thank you for this very thorough description of the Asakura camellia

  • To what height does it grow?

    Yuri Panchul reply on June 10th, 2012 9:50 pm:

    In terms of growth habit, Asakura is a rather typical sasanqua and under ideal conditions it eventually can grow to a tree up to 12-15 feet hight. However you can keep it low with severe pruning.

  • Thank you. I have had an Asakura sasanqua for some years and it has not done well. We have had many years of severe drought here. I am inspired by your photograph of the shrub against the fence and will move mine to a better position. Many thanks.

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