Camellia sasanqua ‘Nodami Ushiro’. Introduced by Domoto Nursery, California, 1934, but is originally from Japan. Stirling Macoboy believes that the name means “a backward glance” in Japanese, but he is probably incorrect. Since I cannot find this name in Japanese sources and my Japanese wife tells me that Japanese people are not likely to name a flower this way (“mi” meaning “body”), I guess that the original name was different. From browsing the history of Toichi Domoto I got an impression that he did not know Kanji well because he was a second-generation Japanese-American. Because of it, Toichi Domoto probably made a naming mistake when he imported it.
It is difficult to explain what is so special about ‘Nodami Ushiro’. It is a single pink camellia with a lot of single pink competitors – ‘Plantation Pink’, ‘Cleopatra’, ‘Tanya’ and others. However Jennifer Trehane in her camellia book calls ‘Nodami Ushiro’ “a subtle, sophisticated camellia”. Where does this sophistication come from? I have an explanation.
Continue reading ‘‘Nodami Ushiro’ – a Higo-like sasanqua’