Tag Archive for 'Camellia Forest Nursery'

Seedling yuri_panchul_2003_024_oleifera evaluation – unsuccessful

I decided to start writing down all seedling evaluations – even for very poor seedlings. I think it will help me to develop successful evaluation criteria.

I got the seed for yuri_panchul_2003_024_oleifera not from a plant in my garden, but from Camellia Forest Nursery in 2003. The resulting seedling was blooming first time 2009.09.02. The flower is a typical wild-type C. oleifera flower, nothing special. The bush shape is spreading, branches are flexible and have long internodes – this is not practical unless you plant to grow an espalier. Leaves are not shiny and way too large for my taste – the largest leaves are approximately 110×60, 100×60 and 90×70 mm (4.3 x 2.4, 4.0 x 2.4, 3.5 x 2.8 inch). The root system is pretty strong.

The plant was grown in somewhat poor condition – it was too dry during one of the heat waves that coincidentally happened during the period of active growth back in April-May. As a result some leaves are deformed. The plant is also root bound but this can be easily corrected by proper root pruning. There are some slugs living at the bottom of the container – this is natural because the container was standing on a plastic shelf lying on the ground. The damage from these slugs appear to be very minor.

The conclusion. This plant should be used as a rootstock during next February. The root bound problem can be corrected after 1 year.


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A new catalog from Camellia Forest Nursery, Fall 2008 – my review

Camellia Forest Nursery is a nursery in North Carolina managed by Kai Mei and David Parks. Kai Mei is a wife of Dr. Clifford Parks (one of the authors of “Collected Species of the Genus Camellia”, 2005) and David Parks is their son.

Mieko Tanaka

The most interesting sasanqua hybrid offered this year is a true red ‘Mieko Tanaka’. Almost all previous “red” sasanquas were actually dark pinks (for example ‘Bonanza’ and ‘Reverend Ida’). The only previous true red was ‘Yuletide’, a chance seedling of Hiryu, originated in Nuccio’s Nurseries back in 1963.

The basic problem with red color is that wild C. sasanqua has no red (or pink) pigment – anthocyanin.

According to Dr. Takayuki Tanaka and other researchers, all pink sasanqua cultivars probably originated from an ancient C. japonica x sasanqua hybrid approximately 400 years ago almost definitely in Japan. The estimation 400 years comes from chloroplast genome DNA (cpDNA) analysis. Additionally, athocyanin chromatography demonstrates that all pink sasanquas (together with x hiemalis and x vernalis hybrids) share the form of anthocyanin with C. japonica and does not have pigments specific for C. reticulata and C. saluensis.

Based on this information, Dr. Tanaka was working on sasanqua-japonica hybridization and finally he developed a cultivar ‘Mieko Tanaka’ (C. x vernalis ‘Gaisen’ x C. japonica).

Plain Jane, O’Nishiki, Winter’s Rose and Winter’s Red Rider

Another important cultivar now available for sale in Camellia Forest Nursery is C. oleifera ‘Plain Jane’. This plain white flower has two distinctive quantities.

First of all, it is one of the most cold-hardy camellias, used by Dr. William Ackerman for his cold-hardiness hybridization program. For example, Dr. Ackerman claims that his cultivar ‘Winter’s Rose’ (C. oleifera ‘Plain Jane’ x C. x hiemalis ‘Otome’) can survive winter temperatures down to -15 F / -26 C.

Second, according to Dr. Ackerman, ‘Plain Jane’ may be used to create dwarf cultivars that are useful as patio and bonsai plants. Particularly, ‘Winter’s Rose’ is also a dwarf camellia. When Dr. Ackerman crossed ‘Plain Jane’ with C. sasanqua ‘O’Nishiki’, he got 3:1 mendelian ratio between normal and dwarf seedlings. This suggested that both ‘Plain Jane’ and ‘O’Nishiki’ carry heterozygous alleles of a dwarfiness gene. (Yes, I know that both plants are hexaploids – so an additional explanation from Dr. Ackerman is needed).

Luckily I got cuttings of ‘O’Nishiki’ last Summer from Mr. Garet Uemura who lives in Hawaii. Thank you, Mr. Uemura!
Continue reading ‘A new catalog from Camellia Forest Nursery, Fall 2008 – my review’

Semi-formal pinks

Chansonette. Introduced in 1958. A seedling of ‘Shishigashira’.

Enishi. Means “Charming Appearance” in Japanese. It is probably a synonym of 艶姿 (あですがた, Adesugata, “Sexy female body”). Originated in Kumamoto. A seedling of a seed given to Kiyofusa Saito by Shigeru Sugiyama. This cultivar is recognized by Higo Sasanqua Society.

Sarrel. A recent origination from Bobby Green in Fairhope, Alabama. Available from Camellia Forest Nursery, North Carolina. Very spreading, can be kept under 2 feet tall with pruning.

Sarrel. A recent origination from Bobby Green in Fairhope, Alabama. Available from Camellia Forest Nursery, North Carolina. Very spreading, can be kept under 2 feet tall with pruning.

Dark pinks

Bonanza. C. x hiemalis, seedling of ‘Crimson Bride’. Originated by Tom Dodd Jr, Semmes, Alabama in 1962.

Bonanza. C. x hiemalis, seedling of ‘Crimson Bride’. Originated by Tom Dodd Jr, Semmes, Alabama in 1962.

Reverend Ida. A seedling of Shishigashira with deeper and more reddish color. A recent origination from Bobby Green in Fairhope, Alabama. Available from Camellia Forest Nursery, North Carolina.

Reverend Ida. A seedling of Shishigashira with deeper and more reddish color. A recent origination from Bobby Green in Fairhope, Alabama. Available from Camellia Forest Nursery, North Carolina.

Other species and hybrids

C. kissii. Wallich 1820. Was callected by botanist named Kiss. Wide range in Southeast Asia – SE China (Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan), Myanmar, Bhutan, northern India, Kampuchea, Laos, Nepal, Sikkim, Thailand and Vietnam. Highly variable, flowers have creamy yellowish tint, flowers in winter.

C. kissii. Wallich 1820. Was callected by botanist named Kiss. Wide range in Southeast Asia – SE China (Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan), Myanmar, Bhutan, northern India, Kampuchea, Laos, Nepal, Sikkim, Thailand and Vietnam. Highly variable, flowers have creamy yellowish tint, flowers in winter.

C. kissii. Wallich 1820. Was callected by botanist named Kiss. Wide range in Southeast Asia – SE China (Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan), Myanmar, Bhutan, northern India, Kampuchea, Laos, Nepal, Sikkim, Thailand and Vietnam. Highly variable, flowers have creamy yellowish tint, flowers in winter.

Buttermint. A hybrid of C. kissii. Originated by Nuccio’s Nurseries, California in 1997. Keeps creamy yellowish tint, inherited from C. kissii parent.

C. grijsii. Hance 1879. Was collected in 1861 in Fujian by C.F.M. de Grijs. Distributed in China: Fujian, Hubei, Sichuan, Guangxi. Tidy upright bushes, impressed veins, related to C. yuhsienensis that has larger flowers, there is a double form called ‘Zhenzhu Cha’. Grows to 11 ft (3 m) high, flowers winter to spring. C. yuhsienensis. Hu 1965. Discovered on the mountain Yuh Shan (You Xian) in Hunan in 1960s. Distributed in China: Hunan, Jiangxi, Hubei, Guangdong. Best quality oil of any species, grows to 11 ft (3 m) high, flowers winter to spring, parent of ‘Yume’. Chromosome numbers: 2n = 30, 45, 75 and 90 (Gu, et al., 1988; Kondo, 1990; Xiao, et al., 1991).

Yume. C. x hiemalis ‘Shishigashira’ x C. yuhsienensis. The name means “Dream” in Japanese. The flower has a very unusual alternation of white and pink petals. Originated in Japan.

Yume. C. x hiemalis ‘Shishigashira’ x C. yuhsienensis. The name means “Dream” in Japanese. The flower has a very unusual alternation of white and pink petals. Originated in Japan.

C. puniceiflora. Chang 1981. Distributed in China: Zhejiang, Hunan. Small leaves, grows up to 2 m (6 f) high.

C. puniceiflora. Chang 1981. Distributed in China: Zhejiang, Hunan. Small leaves, grows up to 2 m (6 f) high.

C. puniceiflora. Chang 1981. Distributed in China: Zhejiang, Hunan. Small leaves, grows up to 2 m (6 f) high.

C. puniceiflora. Chang 1981. Distributed in China: Zhejiang, Hunan. Small leaves, grows up to 2 m (6 f) high.

C. puniceiflora. Chang 1981. Distributed in China: Zhejiang, Hunan. Small leaves, grows up to 2 m (6 f) high.

C. brevistyla form. rubida. C. brevistyla (Hay.) Cohen Stuart (1916) form. rubida P. L. Chiu (1987). Distributed in China in hilly areas of Longquan in Zhejiang Province. Chromosome number: 2n = 30 (Kondo, 1977).

C. brevistyla form. rubida. C. brevistyla (Hay.) Cohen Stuart (1916) form. rubida P. L. Chiu (1987). Distributed in China in hilly areas of Longquan in Zhejiang Province. Chromosome number: 2n = 30 (Kondo, 1977).

Gingetsu Perkins. A misnamed cultivar, sent to Nuccio’s Nurseries, California. Possibly a sasanqua-reticulata hybrid.

Gingetsu Perkins. A misnamed cultivar, sent to Nuccio’s Nurseries, California. Possibly a sasanqua-reticulata hybrid.

Gingetsu Perkins. A misnamed cultivar, sent to Nuccio’s Nurseries, California. Possibly a sasanqua-reticulata hybrid.

Kai Mei’s Choice. C. sasanqua x (C. sasanqua x C. reticulata). Originated in Camellia Forest Nursery, North Carolina.

Stars’N’Stripes. A chance seedling of ‘Christmas Rose’ (Williams’ Lavender x Shishigashira). Originated by Nuccio’s Nurseries, California.

Stars’N’Stripes. A chance seedling of ‘Christmas Rose’ (Williams’ Lavender x Shishigashira). Originated by Nuccio’s Nurseries, California.

Stars’N’Stripes. A chance seedling of ‘Christmas Rose’ (Williams’ Lavender x Shishigashira). Originated by Nuccio’s Nurseries, California.

Stars’N’Stripes. A chance seedling of ‘Christmas Rose’ (Williams’ Lavender x Shishigashira). Originated by Nuccio’s Nurseries, California.

Sasanqua breeders

Well-known sasanqua breeders include:

1. Nuccio’s Nurseries’s founders Joseph and Julius Nuccio, and their children Tom, Jim, and Julius, all living in Southern California. The best-known Nuccio’s sasanqua cultivar is Yuletide – the only really red sasanqua. We wrote an article about their operation and maintain a list of sasanqua cultivars and Camellia species available from Nuccio’s.

2. Dr. William L. Ackerman studied genetics of camellias since 1960s and created cold-tolerant cultivars using Camellia oleifera as a parent. Our favorite Ackerman’s hybrid is ‘Winter’s Rose’ – a beautiful formal pink miniature sasanqua. Dr. Ackerman lives in Maryland, pictures of some of his cultivars are available on the website of a local Camellia Society of the Potomac Valley and on the website of the National Arboretum. We also prepared a photo album of some of his cultivars based on pictures Dr.Ackerman donated to us for publication.

3. Camellia Forest Nursery, Clifford Parks, David Parks and Kai Mei created sasanqua-reticulata hybrids, including ‘Kai Mei’s Choice’. Clifford Parks wrote many articles about Camellia genetics. They are located in North Carolina.

4. Paradise Plants, John Robb created beautiful sasanqua cultivars in Australia, including Paradise Sayaka
and dwarf Paradise Baby Jane. Unfortunately Paradise Camellias are not available in the United States at this moment, but will be available soon via Ball Seed Company, the contact name is Peter Kruger.

5. Tom Dodd Nurseries, Inc was started in 1920 with 40 acres of land by Tom Dodd, Sr. The nursery remained owned by the Dodd family until August of 2004 when it was purchased by Jack Williams and John Williams, owners of Twin Oaks Nursery in Wilmer, AL. Tom Dodd Nurseries introduced a dozen of new sasanqua cultivars.

This beauty shows its colors early

A couple of week ago I got a call from journalist Lili Singer, who needed some information about Camellia sasanqua for her article in Los Angeles Times. Today this article was published. You can see my sasanqua cultivar recommendations in the article.

Dwarf Shishi. A seedling of ‘Shishigashira’. Originated by Toichi Domoto, California in 1988.

You can get the article from LA Times archive: http://tinyurl.com/64cyo7

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