Tag Archive for 'Fukuoka'

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:
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Camellia sasanqua Tai-shuhai 大朱盃

Camellia sasanqua ‘Tai-shuhai’ 大朱盃 (たいしゅはい) meaning “Large Vermilion Cup”. According to Nippon Tsubaki ・ Sasanqua Meikan, Tai-shuhai came from Fukuoka Prefecture. The cultivar originated and named in Kurume in 1960s by Shunsuke Hisatomi.

I got the cutting of this cultivar from Nuccio’s Nurseries. When the plant started to bloom on January 20, 2009, I was amazed by the freshness of colors and the shape of its flower:

Egao group

Egao. C. x vernalis. Name means “smiling face” in Japanese. Originated in Kurume or Fukuoka. Imported to the United States by Nuccio’s Nurseries, California in either 1972 or 1977 (?).

Grady’s Egao. C. x vernalis. A sport of Egao.