Tag Archive for 'hybridizing'

Camellia News – the journal of Camellias Australia

“Camellia News”, the journal of Camellias Australia, had recently published some of my materials about Camellia sasanqua.

Some information about Camellias Australia from their website http://www.camellia.org.au

Camellias Australia Inc. (formerly the Australian Camellia Research Society Inc.) is made up of a confederation of Australian affiliated camellia organisations. All states except Queensland, The Australian Capital and Northern Territories have affiliated camellia bodies. C.A. has an Executive consisting of a National President, Secretary and Treasurer. C.A. does not control any of the affiliate bodies but acts as a umbrella organisation re matters of National Interest, and liaison. C.A. conducts an Annual General Meeting of affiliates which is hosted on a national rotation system. Usually, a National Camellia Show is held in conjunction with the A.G.M.

The website contains many articles on various camellia subjects. Two articles that especially caught my attention:

* The History of Camellias in Australia, written by Ken Tate and presented at the National Camellia congress in 2006

* Optimismisation – a discussion paper presented at the 2010 Australian National Camellia Congress, in Hobart, Tasmania by Andrew Raper – Past President of Camellias Victoria and specialist camellia nurseryman. Due to import restricts on new cultivars coming into Australia, Andrew’s inventive title really means ‘Propagate or Perish’


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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

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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).
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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

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