Tag Archive for 'China'

A new book about camellias is published in China

A new book about camellias is published in China. It is written by Shen Yinchun 沈荫椿, a Chinese American living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I (Yuri Panchul) contributed more than 30 photo pictures to this great publication. The preface is written by Barbara Tuffy, a recent president of the American Camellia Society. American camellia people usually call Shen Yinchun “Y.C. Shen” or simply “Y.C.”


Continue reading ‘A new book about camellias is published in China’

The history of camellias

The New Times magazine logo / Логотип журнала Новое ВремяRussian weekly “Novoye Vremya” (The New Times) published my article about the history of camellias in Japan, China, Europe and the United States.

Российский журнал “Новое Время” (The New Times) опубликовал мою статью об истории камелий.

http://newtimes.ru/articles/detail/3288/

To read my article in English using automatic translation by Google Translate, you can click here – http://tinyurl.com/mtroq5
Japanese – http://tinyurl.com/nzfn8e
Traditional Chinese – http://tinyurl.com/n2tegh
Simplified Chinese – http://tinyurl.com/npclos

Цветок на все времена

Романтическая красота и древность происхождения камелий стали источником множества мифов и загадочных историй, связанных с этой «царицей сада». В разные века камелия была символом и богини солнца Аматэрасу — прародительницы японских императоров, и символом Иисуса Христа, она олицетворяла то долголетие, то роковую переменчивость судьбы. При этом мало кто знает, что роскошный цветущий куст камелии — ближайший родственник чайного куста, источника экономического благополучия многих регионов Азии. Откуда взялись камелии и в чем тайна этого великолепного цветка — разбирался The New Times

Camellia— Сэр Джон поднялся наверх и принес шкатулку с драгоценностями. Когда я открыл шкатулку на столе и все собрались вокруг него, леди велела мне зажечь лампы в оранжерее, так как гости вскоре должны были идти смотреть красные камелии. Но красных камелий там не было!
— Я не понял вас.
— Они исчезли, сэр! Исчезли все до одной! — хрипло выкрикнул наш посетитель. — Когда я вошел в оранжерею, то так и прирос к мес­ту, держа лампу над головой: мне показалось, что я сошел с ума. Знаменитый куст был в полной сохранности, но от дюжины больших цветов, которыми я восхищался днем, не осталось даже лепестка.
Шерлок Холмс протянул свою длинную руку за трубкой.
— Прелестно, прелестно, — сказал он. — Эта история доставляет мне чрезвычайное удовольствие…

Адриан Конан Дойл, Джон Диксон Карр. «Рубин Авас»

Маргарита бывала на всех первых представлениях и все вечера проводила в театрах и на балах. Каждый раз, когда давалась новая пьеса, ее наверняка можно было встретить в театре с тремя вещами, с которыми она никогда не расставалась и которые лежали всегда на барьере ее ложи в бенуаре: с лорнетом, коробкой конфет и букетом камелий.
В течение двадцати пяти дней каждого месяца камелии были белые, а остальные пять дней они были красные, никому не известна была причина, почему цветы менялись…

Александр Дюма-сын. «Дама с камелиями»

Камелии — самый яркий пример разницы в восприятии красоты на Востоке и на Западе. Если поставить рядом цветки, которые были популярны среди японских самураев, и те, которыми любовались английские аристократы XIX века, то может показаться, что перед нами совсем разные растения. Но и те и другие прекрасны.

Цветок самураев

CamelliaПервое упоминание о камелиях относится к I веку нашей эры, когда губернатор провинции острова Кюсю лично прикончил главарей банды преступников дубиной, сделанной из древесины камелии. С тех пор эта часть Кюсю называется Цубаки по японскому названию камелии японской (Camellia japonica), а само поле битвы названо «Кровавое поле». Возможно, в названии отразилось то, что цветки дикой Цубаки — ярко-красного цвета, а первый в истории белый цветок этого вида появился только в VII веке и вызвал такой интерес, что его даже принесли показать императору Тэмму.
Continue reading ‘The history of camellias’

The religion of tea in China and Japan

The New Times magazine logo / Логотип журнала Новое ВремяRussian weekly “Novoye Vremya” (The New Times) published my article about the culture of tea in China and Japan. To write this article I asked several question one of the leading experts on genus Camellia – Professor Gao Jiyin from from Fuyang Institute of Subtropical Forestry, China.

Российский журнал “Новое Время” (The New Times) опубликовал мою статью о культуре чая в Китае и Японии. Для написания статьи я задал несколько вопросов одному из ведущих специалистов по ботанике чайного куста из Исследовательского института субтропической растительности в провинции Чжэцзян на юго-востоке Китая.

http://archive.newtimes.ru/magazine/2009/issue106/doc-60764.html

To read this article in English using automatic translation by Google Translate, you can click here – http://tinyurl.com/d6eues
Traditional Chinese – http://tinyurl.com/cggt7p
Simplified Chinese – http://tinyurl.com/cf7v35
Japanese – http://tinyurl.com/cf5lso

TeaРелигия чая. В Европе и Америке чай — всего лишь напиток. В Китае и Японии, откуда он пришел, — это великая культура и фантастически интересная история. Чем объясняются романтические чувства к чаю у китайцев и японцев — узнавал The New Times
Continue reading ‘The religion of tea in China and Japan’

Found a Chinese website that sells rare Camellia books

Although I don’t speak Chinese I was always curious to buy the book Monograph of The Genus Camellia 世界山茶属的研究 by Ming Tien-Lu (2000) since this is one of three main books about the botany of the genus Camellia. Two other books are A Revision of the Genus Camellia by J. Robert Sealy (1958) and Camellias by Chang Hung Ta and Bruce Bartholomew (1984).

And finally I found the book!

http://www.hceis.com/book.asp?id=1376

Monograph of The Genus Camellia by Ming Tien-Lu

They also have a new book about sasanquas I was also looking for – Sasanqua (Cha Mei) 茶梅 by Xu Biyu and Lin Tianfei et al (2007).

http://www.hceis.com/book.asp?id=7319

Sasanqua (Cha Mei) by Xu Biyu and Lin Tianfei et al

Wow! Now I want to go to the nearby Foothill College to take an introductory course in Chinese (I was studying Japanese over there and it was very decent).

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

Continue reading ‘John Wang – a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area’

Camellia grijsii

This month The International Camellia Society put two of my camellia photo pictures to the front page of their website. One is a picture of Camellia japonica ‘Kamo Honnami’ (see their website), and another is a picture of Camellia grijsii, a species related to C. sasanqua:

Camellia grijsii
C. grijsii

Camellia grijsii (长瓣短柱茶 in Chinese) Hance (1879) is a wild species of section Paracamellia. It is related to C. sasanqua, C. oleifera and C. kissii. It was collected in 1861 in Fujian by C.F.M. de Grijs. It is distributed in China (Fujian, Hubei, Sichuan, Guangxi) and used for a high-quality oil production. C. grijsii is closely related to another species – C. yuhsienensis, that is a parent of a popular cultivar ‘Yume’.

I got my two plants of C. grijsii from Nuccio’s Nurseries. The first one (shown above) has single white flowers and the second one is a double-flowered Chinese cultivar called ‘Zhenzhucha’:

Camellia grijsii 'Zhenzhucha'
Camellia grijsii ‘Zhenzhucha’

Camellia grijsii has great hybridizing potential. Two plants in my garden have small leaves with impressed veins and very columnar shape. I believe there are also varieties with larger leaves, but I am specifically interested in small-leaved cultivars.

Another great feature of C. grijsii is its cluster-flowering habit. However in my garden C. grijsii flowers from January to March, so it will be a challenge to cross it with Fall-flowering sasanquas. Probably I will have to store some pollen from sasanquas in refrigerator for a couple of months.

Another problem is chromosome number. According to Kondo and his associates it has a variety of chromosome numbers 2n = 30, 60, 75 and 90 (see the reference in Collected Species of the Genus Camellia, an Illustrated Outline by Gao Jiyin, Clifford R. Parks and Du Yuequiang).
Continue reading ‘Camellia grijsii’

Chinese names for species

Here is Chinese names of Camellia species from sections Oleifera and Paracamellia. Recent genetic research suggest that these sections should be grouped back together to the original Sealy’s section Paracamellia.

Sect. Oleifera H. T. Chang (油茶组)

C. gauchowensis H. T. Chang (高州油茶)
C. oleifera Abel (油茶)
C. vietnamensis T. C. Huang ex Hu (越南油茶)
C. sasanqua Thunb. (茶梅)
C. lanceoleosa H. T. Chang & J. S. Chiu (狭叶油茶)

Sect. Paracamellia Sealy (短柱茶组)

C. fluviatilis Hand.-Mazz. (窄叶短柱茶)
C. grijsii Hance (长瓣短柱茶)
C. yuhsienensis Hu (攸县油茶)
C. odorata L. S. Xie & Z. Y. Zhang (芳香短柱茶)
C. shensiensis H. T. Chang (陕西短柱茶)
C. confusa Craib (小果短柱茶)
C. kissi Wall. (落瓣短柱茶)
C. tenii Sealy (大姚短柱茶)
C. hiemalis Nakai (冬红短柱茶)
C. miyagii (Koidz.) Makino & Nemoto (琉球短柱茶)
C. brevistyla (Hayata) Coh. Stuart (短柱茶)
C. obtusifolia H. T. Chang (钝叶短柱茶)
C. puniceiflora H. T. Chang (粉红短柱茶)
C. microphylla (Merr.) Chien (细叶短柱茶)
C. maliflora Lindl. (樱花短柱茶)
C. phaeoclada H. T. Chang (褐枝短柱茶)

Sources:

Gao J-Y (高继银), Parks CR, Du Y-Q (杜跃强). 2005. Collected species of the genus Camellia an illustrated outline (山茶属植物主要原种彩色图集). Hangzhou: Zhejiang Science and Technology Press.

Lin X-Y (林秀艳), Peng Q-F (彭秋发), Lü H-F (吕洪飞), Du Y-Q (杜跃强), Tang B-Y (汤妣颖). 2008. Leaf anatomy of Camellia sect. Oleifera and sect. Paracamellia (Theaceae) with reference to their taxonomic significance. Journal of Systematics and Evolution (植物分类学报) 46:183–193. http://www.plantsystematics.com

Shen Jin-Bo, Lü H-F (吕洪飞), Peng Q-F (彭秋发), Zheng Ju-Fang, Tian Yu-Mei. 2008. FTIR spectra of Camellia sect. Oleifera, sect. Paracamellia, and sect. Camellia (Theaceae) with reference to their taxonomic significance. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 46 (2): 194–204. http://www.plantsystematics.com

2008 National Camellia Show at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

I got two awards on 2008 National Camellia Show at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. I took part in photography competition.

The first photo picture is of species Camellia puniceiflora from section Paracamellia:

Camellia puniceiflora (粉红短柱茶 in Chinese) Chang 1981. A wild species distributed in China: Zhejiang, Hunan. Small leaves, grows up to 2 m (6 f) high.

The second photo picture is of sasanqua cultivar called Chojiguruma:

Chojiguruma, 丁子車 in Japanese. Means “a wheel of anemone” in Japanese. Introduced in 1789. Originated in Kansai, spread to many places. This anemone form is very rare for C. sasanqua cultivars.

The complete list of all results of the Camellia Photography Show is below:
Continue reading ‘2008 National Camellia Show at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania’

Oleifera and Ackerman hybrids

C. oleifera. Abel 1818. Southern China, south of Yangtze River, Shanxi and Vietnam. Cultivated for oil production, used for cold-hardy hybrids, grows to 23 ft (7 m) hight, flowers in fall. Chromosome number: 2n = 30, 60, 90 (Kondo, 1977).

Seedling of C. oleifera. Abel 1818. Southern China, south of Yangtze River, Shanxi and Vietnam. Cultivated for oil production, used for cold-hardy hybrids, grows to 23 ft (7 m) hight, flowers in fall.

Winter’s Rose. C. oleifera ‘Plain Jane’ x C. x hiemalis ‘Otome’. William Ackerman. Survives very low winter temperatures – down to -15 F / -26 C.

Winter’s Rose. C. oleifera ‘Plain Jane’ x C. x hiemalis ‘Otome’. William Ackerman. Survives very low winter temperatures – down to -15 F / -26 C.

Winter’s Rose. C. oleifera ‘Plain Jane’ x C. x hiemalis ‘Otome’. William Ackerman. Survives very low winter temperatures – down to -15 F / -26 C.

Winter’s Rose. C. oleifera ‘Plain Jane’ x C. x hiemalis ‘Otome’. William Ackerman. Survives very low winter temperatures – down to -15 F / -26 C.

Winter’s Rose. C. oleifera ‘Plain Jane’ x C. x hiemalis ‘Otome’. William Ackerman. Survives very low winter temperatures – down to -15 F / -26 C.

Winter’s Rose. C. oleifera ‘Plain Jane’ x C. x hiemalis ‘Otome’. William Ackerman. Survives very low winter temperatures – down to -15 F / -26 C.

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.

The Fall Meeting at Filoli Garden in California

Organized by the American Camellia Society

Presentations:

John Wang. Bark Grafting.
John Wang. My Thoughts and Discipline on Camellia Breeding.
Gene Phillips. The Importance of Tea in our Gardens.

Demonstrations:

Clayton Mathis. Techniques of Rooting Cuttings and Air Layering Camellias.
Tom Nuccio. Techniques of Rooting Cuttings and Grafting.
John Wang. Bark Grafting Techniques from China and Taiwan.

Displays:

Neiman Marcus, Amorepacific beauty products made with Camellias
Megiston Health Foods, Madeline Lee, Organic tea oils made with Camellias

John Wang:

John Wang, Filoli Garden, California, September 8, 2007

Gene Phillips:

Gene Phillips, Filoli Garden, California, September 8, 2007

Tom Nuccio:

Tom Nuccio, Filoli Garden, California, September 8, 2007

Continue reading ‘The Fall Meeting at Filoli Garden in California’

Camellia sasanqua botany (with pictures)

Camellia sasanqua botany (with pictures)

Yuri Panchul, June 2003


Camellia sasanqua ‘Shikoku Stars’. A wild variety.


Camellia miyagii

Contents


Camellia puniceiflora


Camellia brevistyla var. rubida

Taxonomy

There are three most recent classification systems of the genus Camellia frequently referred in Camellia literature: Sealy 1958 [4], Chang 1981 [1] and Ming 2000 [3].

Taxonomy – Sealy

J. Robert Sealy divided genus Camellia into 12 species group (sections). He put C. sasanqua, C. oleifera and C. kissi into section Paracamellia, C. hiemalis and C. miyagii into unplaced (artificial) section Dubiae.

Sealy’s Paracamellia consisted of ten species. Their main feature was short styles and minimal fusion of floral parts.

In 1971 Dr. William L. Ackerman shown in his article [5] that C. hiemalis and C. miyagii freely hybridize with species of section Paracamellia and suggested they should be in one section.

Taxonomy – Chang

Chang Hung Ta (1981, [1]) divided genus Camellia into four subgenera and 20 sections. He put C. sasanqua and C. oleifera into section Oleifera of Camellia subgenus. Then he put C. kissi and C. miyagii into section Paracamellia of the same subgenus and C. hiemalis into section Camellia subsection Reticulata of the same genus.

We believe later Chang Hung Ta corrected C. hiemalis classification and put it back into section Paracamellia.

Chang stated that the reason five species should be put into a separate Oleifera section is because they have more stamen series and relatively longer styles. Xiao Tiaojiang and Clifford Parks (2002, [10]) doubted Chang’s reasons for dividing Paracamellia into two sections (Paracamellia and Oleifera). They noticed that wild forms of C. sasanqua (Changs’s section Oleifera) and C. miyagii (Chang’s section Paracamellia) are virtually identical and can be considered a one species. They also did DNA sequence analysis and found all species of Changs’s Oleifera section to be clustered with a group of species in Paracamellia section.

Xiao Tiaojiang and Clifford Parks also shown by DNA analysis that some of Chang’s Paracamellia species may be in fact not belonging to Paracamellia section, for example C. grijsii, C. odorata and C. yusienensis. They fall into the clade of section Camellia species from Western China.

Taxonomy – Ming

Ming Tianlu (2000, [3]) divided genus Camellia into two subgenera and 14 sections. We do not have his book so we cannot describe his treatment of Paracamellia species. Neither Sealy nor Chang recognized C. vernalis to be a separate species. In fact, many researchers consider C. vernalis to be a complicated sasanqua-japonica hybrid (see the details below). Some researches also consider C. hiemalis a sasanqua-japonica hybrid.

According to William Ackerman, when he traveled in 1980 on a plant exploration trip to western Japan, he saw wild populations of both C. sasanqua and C. japonica growing adjacent to each other, and intermingled. There were also obvious hybrids showing intermediate phenotypic characteristics. Ackerman’s cytological analysis of a series of C. vernalis cultivars showed chromosomal evidence of both 1st and 2nd generation hybridization.

On the other hand, Ackerman strongly disagree with those who consider C. hiemalis a hybrid with C. japonica parentage. He does not see neither cytological nor phenotypical evidence to support this.


Camellia x vernalis ‘Hiryu’. A parent of ‘Yuletide’.


Camellia x vernalis ‘Yuletide’. A seedling of ‘Hiryu’.

Species

Species by Chang Hung Ta classification

Section Oleifera Chang

C. gauchowensis Chang (1961)
C. lanceoleosa
C. oleifera Abel (1818)
C. sasanqua Thunb. (1784)
C. vietnamensis Hung ex Hu (1965)

Section Paracamellia Sealy

C. brevistyla (Hay.) Cohen-Stuart (1908)
C. confusa (Craib) Cohen-Stuart (1916)
C. fluviatilis Hand.-Mazz. (1922). (Synonim C. kissi)
C. grijsii Hance (1879)
C. hiemalis Nakai (1940)
C. maliflolia Lindl. (1827)
C. microphylla (Merr.) Chien (1937)
C. miyagii (Koidz.) Mak. & Nem. (1931)
C. obtusifolia Chang (1981)
C. odorata
C. phaeoclada Chang (1981)
C. puniceiflora Chang (1981)
C. shensiensis Chang ex Chang (1981)
C. tenii Sealy (1949)
C. weiningensis Y.K. Li ex Chang (1981)
C. yuhsienensis Hu (1965)

Section Paracamellia Sealy – not in Chang’s list, but from the International Camellia Society website:

C. brevissima Chang & Liang (1982)
C. lutescens Dyer in Hook. (1874)
C. octopetala Hu in Acta Phytotax. Sin. vol.X, No.2, 1965
C. paucipetala Chang, (1984).


Camellia oleifera


Camellia hybrid ‘Winter’s Rose’. C. oleifera ‘Plain Jane’ x C. x hiemalis ‘Otome’. An Ackerman hybrid.

Compatibility

According to William L. Ackerman (1971, [5]), C. sasanqua, C. oleifera and C. kissi of Sealy’s section Paracamellia hybridize with each other very readily. In Ackerman’s research the compatibility ratio of hybrids in relation to total cross-polunations was 29 percent, the highest withing any of the section he experimented.

Ackerman also hybridized hiemalis and C. miyagii of Sealy’s section Dubiae (Chang’s section Paracamellia). The compatibility ratio was 19 percent.

Ackerman also found that C. hiemalis and C. miyagii of Sealy’s section Dubiae hybridized as easily as when intrasectional crosses were made within Sealy’s section Paracamellia (C. sasanqua, C. oleifera and C. kissi). The compatibility ratio was 18 percent for C. miyagii and 13 percent for C. hiemalis.

All these percentage numbers compare with just 9 percent for intrasectional crosses within section Camellia.

Ackerman indicated that C. sasanqua, C. oleifera and C. kissi are ecospecies. He also suggested C. hiemalis and C. miyagii are ecospecies as well and should be put into Sealy’s section Paracamellia.

In Ackerman’s experiments section Thea appeared to be more closely related to section Paracamellia and to C. hiemalis and C. miyagii of Dubiae than to species of other sections.


Camellia kissii. A parent of ‘Buttermint’.


Camellia hybrid ‘Buttermint’. A seedling of C. kissii. Nuccio’s Nurseries, California, 1997.

Chromosomes

The basic chromosome number in the genus Camellia is 15. Different species have chromosome numbers of 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90. According to Ackerman [5] C. sasanqua, C. hiemalis, C. oleifera and C. miyagii are generally hexaploids (chromosome number 6X=90).

C. kissi is a diploid (2X=30).

C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ is a pentaploid (5X=75)

C. vernalis ‘Hirya’ was reported to be a triploid (3X=45) by Longley and Tourje (1959 [6], 1960 [7]).

Most C. japonica and C. sinensis are diploid (2X=30).

There are rare cases of triploid C. sinensis (3X=45).

The following numbers of chromosomes were reported by Ackerman [5] for crosses:

C. japonica 30 x C. kissi 30 = 30
C. kissi 30 x C. rusticana 30 = 30
             
C. japonica 30 x C. miyagii 90 = 60
             
C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ 75 x C. granthamiana 60 = 60
C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ 75 x C. reticulata 90 = 90
             
C. oleifera 90 x C. hiemalis 90 = 90
C. oleifera 90 x C. miyagii 90 = 90
C. reticulata 90 x C. sasanqua 90 = 90
C. sasanqua 90 x C. hiemalis 90 = 90
C. sasanqua 90 x C. miyagii 90 = 90
C. sasanqua 90 x C. miyagii 90 = 86
C. sasanqua 90 x C. oleifera 90 = 90
C. sasanqua 90 x C. reticulata 90 = 90

According to Ackerman [5] “‘Narumigata’, a pentaploid variety of C. sasanqua, produced hybrids when used as the female parent. However, the chromosome number of its hybrids seem unpredictable. A hybrid, A-24, resulting from C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ (5X=75) x C. granthamiana (4X=60) was tetraploid (4X=60). The morphological characters of this hybrid were intermediate. It is generally difficult to assess accurately the contribution of each parent to the hybrid in crosses involving polyploid species without the aid of genetical or cytological markers. However, ‘Narumigata’ may have produced an egg with 30 chromosomes, which united with a sperm carrying 30 chromosomes from C. granthamiana. A hybrid of C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ x C. reticulata (6X=90) was hexaploid. In this case, ‘Narumigata’ may have produced an egg cell with 45 chromosomes.”

William Ackerman also reports in his recent correspondence C. vernalis tetraploid (4X=60) and pentaploid (5X=75). This is what one would expect along the following lines, which substantiates the hybrid nature of C. vernalis:

  • 1st Generation (F1) hybrid between C. sasanqua 6X=90 x C. japonica 2X=30 with result in gametes 45 + 15 = 60 chromosomes (4X,tetraploid).
  • Backcross of resulting F1 hybrid to C. sasanqua: F1 hybrid 4X=60 x C. sasanqua 6X=90 will result in gametes 30 + 45 = 75chromosomes (5X, pentaploid).
  • Backcross of resulting F1 hybrid to C. japonica: F1 hybrid 4X=60 x C. japonica 2X=30 will result in gametes 30 + 15 = 45chromosomes (3X, triploid). This triploid will normally be sterile.


Camellia sasanqua ‘Narimugata’. Pentaploid.


Camellia x reticulata hybrid ‘Kai Mei’s Choice’. C. sasanqua x (C. sasanqua x C. reticulata), Camellia Forest Nursery.

Books


[1] Chang Hung Ta. 1981. A taxonomy of the genus Camellia. In Chinese. Acta Scientarum Naturalium Universitatis, Sunyatseni

Chang’s book was revised in 1998 (also in Chinese). English translation of 1981 Chang’s book is available on amazon.com:

[2] Chang Hung Ta, Bruce Bartholomew. 1984. Camellias. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.

[3] Ming Tianlu. 2000. Monograph of the genus Camellia. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, Kunming, P.R. China

[4] J. Robert Sealy. 1958. A Revision of the Genus Camellia. The Royal Horticultural Society, London

It is possible to buy Sealy’s book on the Internet


Camellia x vernalis ‘Egao’. Means “smiling face” in Japanese.

Articles

[5] William L. Ackerman. 1971. Genetic and cytological studies with Camellia and related genera. Washington, D. C.

[6] Longley, A. E., and Tourje, E. C. Chromosome numbers of certain camellia species and allied genera. American Camellia Yearbook. 1959: 33-39.

[7] Longley, A. E., and Tourje, E. C. Chromosome numbers of certain camellia species and allied genera. American Camellia Yearbook. 1960: 70-72.

[8] Clifford Parks, K. Kondo and T.Swain. Phytochemical evidence for the genetic contamination of Camellia sasanqua Thunberg. Japanese Journal of Breeding 31(2):168

[9] John M. Ruter. Nursery production of Tea Oil Camellia under different light levels. Trends in new crops and new uses. 2002. J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.). ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.

[10] Xiao Tiaojiang, Clifford Parks. 2002. Molecular analysis of the genus Camellia. University of North Carolina, USA.


Camellia grijsii


Camellia x yuhsienensis hybrid ‘Yume’. C. x hiemalis ‘Shishi Gashira’ x C. yuhsienensis, Dr. Kaoru Hagiya.

Camellia sasanqua botany

Yuri Panchul, June 2003

Contents

Taxonomy

There are three most recent classification systems of the genus Camellia frequently referred in Camellia literature: Sealy 1958 [4], Chang 1981 [1] and Ming 2000 [3].

Taxonomy – Sealy

J. Robert Sealy divided genus Camellia into 12 species group (sections). He put C. sasanqua, C. oleifera and C. kissi into section Paracamellia, C. hiemalis and C. miyagii into unplaced (artificial) section Dubiae.

Sealy’s Paracamellia consisted of ten species. Their main feature was short styles and minimal fusion of floral parts.

In 1971 Dr. William L. Ackerman shown in his article [5] that C. hiemalis and C. miyagii freely hybridize with species of section Paracamellia and suggested they should be in one section.

Taxonomy – Chang

Chang Hung Ta (1981, [1]) divided genus Camellia into four subgenera and 20 sections. He put C. sasanqua and C. oleifera into section Oleifera of Camellia subgenus. Then he put C. kissi and C. miyagii into section Paracamellia of the same subgenus and C. hiemalis into section Camellia subsection Reticulata of the same genus.

We believe later Chang Hung Ta corrected C. hiemalis classification and put it back into section Paracamellia.

Chang stated that the reason five species should be put into a separate Oleifera section is because they have more stamen series and relatively longer styles. Xiao Tiaojiang and Clifford Parks (2002, [10]) doubted Chang’s reasons for dividing Paracamellia into two sections (Paracamellia and Oleifera). They noticed that wild forms of C. sasanqua (Changs’s section Oleifera) and C. miyagii (Chang’s section Paracamellia) are virtually identical and can be considered a one species. They also did DNA sequence analysis and found all species of Changs’s Oleifera section to be clustered with a group of species in Paracamellia section.

Xiao Tiaojiang and Clifford Parks also shown by DNA analysis that some of Chang’s Paracamellia species may be in fact not belonging to Paracamellia section, for example C. grijsii, C. odorata and C. yusienensis. They fall into the clade of section Camellia species from Western China.

Taxonomy – Ming

Ming Tianlu (2000, [3]) divided genus Camellia into two subgenera and 14 sections. We do not have his book so we cannot describe his treatment of Paracamellia species. Neither Sealy nor Chang recognized C. vernalis to be a separate species. In fact, many researchers consider C. vernalis to be a complicated sasanqua-japonica hybrid (see the details below). Some researches also consider C. hiemalis a sasanqua-japonica hybrid.

According to William Ackerman, when he traveled in 1980 on a plant exploration trip to western Japan, he saw wild populations of both C. sasanqua and C. japonica growing adjacent to each other, and intermingled. There were also obvious hybrids showing intermediate phenotypic characteristics. Ackerman’s cytological analysis of a series of C. vernalis cultivars showed chromosomal evidence of both 1st and 2nd generation hybridization.

On the other hand, Ackerman strongly disagree with those who consider C. hiemalis a hybrid with C. japonica parentage. He does not see neither cytological nor phenotypical evidence to support this.

Species

Species by Chang Hung Ta classification

Section Oleifera Chang

C. gauchowensis Chang (1961)
C. lanceoleosa
C. oleifera Abel (1818)
C. sasanqua Thunb. (1784)
C. vietnamensis Hung ex Hu (1965)

Section Paracamellia Sealy

C. brevistyla (Hay.) Cohen-Stuart (1908)
C. confusa (Craib) Cohen-Stuart (1916)
C. fluviatilis Hand.-Mazz. (1922). (Synonim C. kissi)
C. grijsii Hance (1879)
C. hiemalis Nakai (1940)
C. maliflolia Lindl. (1827)
C. microphylla (Merr.) Chien (1937)
C. miyagii (Koidz.) Mak. & Nem. (1931)
C. obtusifolia Chang (1981)
C. odorata
C. phaeoclada Chang (1981)
C. puniceiflora Chang (1981)
C. shensiensis Chang ex Chang (1981)
C. tenii Sealy (1949)
C. weiningensis Y.K. Li ex Chang (1981)
C. yuhsienensis Hu (1965)

Section Paracamellia Sealy – not in Chang’s list, but from the International Camellia Society website:

C. brevissima Chang & Liang (1982)
C. lutescens Dyer in Hook. (1874)
C. octopetala Hu in Acta Phytotax. Sin. vol.X, No.2, 1965
C. paucipetala Chang, (1984).

Compatibility

According to William L. Ackerman (1971, [5]), C. sasanqua, C. oleifera and C. kissi of Sealy’s section Paracamellia hybridize with each other very readily. In Ackerman’s research the compatibility ratio of hybrids in relation to total cross-polunations was 29 percent, the highest withing any of the section he experimented.

Ackerman also hybridized hiemalis and C. miyagii of Sealy’s section Dubiae (Chang’s section Paracamellia). The compatibility ratio was 19 percent.

Ackerman also found that C. hiemalis and C. miyagii of Sealy’s section Dubiae hybridized as easily as when intrasectional crosses were made within Sealy’s section Paracamellia (C. sasanqua, C. oleifera and C. kissi). The compatibility ratio was 18 percent for C. miyagii and 13 percent for C. hiemalis.

All these percentage numbers compare with just 9 percent for intrasectional crosses within section Camellia.

Ackerman indicated that C. sasanqua, C. oleifera and C. kissi are ecospecies. He also suggested C. hiemalis and C. miyagii are ecospecies as well and should be put into Sealy’s section Paracamellia.

In Ackerman’s experiments section Thea appeared to be more closely related to section Paracamellia and to C. hiemalis and C. miyagii of Dubiae than to species of other sections.

Chromosomes

The basic chromosome number in the genus Camellia is 15. Different species have chromosome numbers of 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90. According to Ackerman [5] C. sasanqua, C. hiemalis, C. oleifera and C. miyagii are generally hexaploids (chromosome number 6X=90).

C. kissi is a diploid (2X=30).

C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ is a pentaploid (5X=75)

C. vernalis ‘Hiryu’ was reported to be a triploid (3X=45) by Longley and Tourje (1959 [6], 1960 [7]).

Most C. japonica and C. sinensis are diploid (2X=30).

There are rare cases of triploid C. sinensis (3X=45).

The following numbers of chromosomes were reported by Ackerman [5] for crosses:

C. japonica 30 x C. kissi 30 = 30
C. kissi 30 x C. rusticana 30 = 30
             
C. japonica 30 x C. miyagii 90 = 60
             
C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ 75 x C. granthamiana 60 = 60
C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ 75 x C. reticulata 90 = 90
             
C. oleifera 90 x C. hiemalis 90 = 90
C. oleifera 90 x C. miyagii 90 = 90
C. reticulata 90 x C. sasanqua 90 = 90
C. sasanqua 90 x C. hiemalis 90 = 90
C. sasanqua 90 x C. miyagii 90 = 90
C. sasanqua 90 x C. miyagii 90 = 86
C. sasanqua 90 x C. oleifera 90 = 90
C. sasanqua 90 x C. reticulata 90 = 90

According to Ackerman [5] “‘Narumigata’, a pentaploid variety of C. sasanqua, produced hybrids when used as the female parent. However, the chromosome number of its hybrids seem unpredictable. A hybrid, A-24, resulting from C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ (5X=75) x C. granthamiana (4X=60) was tetraploid (4X=60). The morphological characters of this hybrid were intermediate. It is generally difficult to assess accurately the contribution of each parent to the hybrid in crosses involving polyploid species without the aid of genetical or cytological markers. However, ‘Narumigata’ may have produced an egg with 30 chromosomes, which united with a sperm carrying 30 chromosomes from C. granthamiana. A hybrid of C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ x C. reticulata (6X=90) was hexaploid. In this case, ‘Narumigata’ may have produced an egg cell with 45 chromosomes.”

William Ackerman also reports in his recent correspondence C. vernalis tetraploid (4X=60) and pentaploid (5X=75). This is what one would expect along the following lines, which substantiates the hybrid nature of C. vernalis:

  • 1st Generation (F1) hybrid between C. sasanqua 6X=90 x C. japonica 2X=30 with result in gametes 45 + 15 = 60 chromosomes (4X,tetraploid).
  • Backcross of resulting F1 hybrid to C. sasanqua: F1 hybrid 4X=60 x C. sasanqua 6X=90 will result in gametes 30 + 45 = 75chromosomes (5X, pentaploid).
  • Backcross of resulting F1 hybrid to C. japonica: F1 hybrid 4X=60 x C. japonica 2X=30 will result in gametes 30 + 15 = 45chromosomes (3X, triploid). This triploid will normally be sterile.

Books


[1] Chang Hung Ta. 1981. A taxonomy of the genus Camellia. In Chinese. Acta Scientarum Naturalium Universitatis, Sunyatseni

Chang’s book was revised in 1998 (also in Chinese). English translation of 1981 Chang’s book is available on amazon.com:

[2] Chang Hung Ta, Bruce Bartholomew. 1984. Camellias. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.

[3] Ming Tianlu. 2000. Monograph of the genus Camellia. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, Kunming, P.R. China

[4] J. Robert Sealy. 1958. A Revision of the Genus Camellia. The Royal Horticultural Society, London

It is possible to buy Sealy’s book on the Internet

Articles


[5] William L. Ackerman. 1971. Genetic and cytological studies with Camellia and related genera. Washington, D. C.

[6] Longley, A. E., and Tourje, E. C. Chromosome numbers of certain camellia species and allied genera. American Camellia Yearbook. 1959: 33-39.

[7] Longley, A. E., and Tourje, E. C. Chromosome numbers of certain camellia species and allied genera. American Camellia Yearbook. 1960: 70-72.

[8] Clifford Parks, K. Kondo and T.Swain. Phytochemical evidence for the genetic contamination of Camellia sasanqua Thunberg. Japanese Journal of Breeding 31(2):168

[9] John M. Ruter. Nursery production of Tea Oil Camellia under different light levels. Trends in new crops and new uses. 2002. J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.). ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.

[10] Xiao Tiaojiang, Clifford Parks. 2002. Molecular analysis of the genus Camellia. University of North Carolina, USA.