|CAMELLIA species - Camellia|
Theaceae; native to Asia.
Germination: Soak seeds of C. sasanqua in warm water for 24 hours before sowing. Maintain a temperature within the medium of 70-75° during germination which takes 1-2 months. Prior to sowing C. sinensis, soak seeds for 48 hours and then place them in a moist medium in the freezer for 3 weeks. Germination will then take 2 months or more with a temperature within the medium of 70-75°. Camellia can be sown outdoors in fall.
Growth: Plant outdoors in warm climates in light shade and a rich, acid, well drained sandy soil. Keep evenly moist and mulch 2 inches deep. Indoors, grow with cool (55°) nights, keep soil evenly moist, and give 3-4 hours of sun a day.
Appearance and Use: C. sasanqua is used as a foundation planting, pot plant, cut flower, and greenhouse specimen. This shrub has broad evergreen leaves and an open habit, growing to 20 feet tall. Hardy zones 7-8, it’s fragrant pink or white, single or semi-double flowers appear in fall. C. sinensis is grown as a shrub in warm climates or as a house plant or in the greenhouse elsewhere. The leathery, toothed leaves of this tender evergreen shrub are used in making tea. C. sinensis can grow to 30 feet, is hardy to zone 8, and has fragrant, white or pink flowers in clusters of 2-5.
NASA Seeds in Space
"What’s it to you whether or not we have an orderly, scientifically sound method for cataloguing plants and animals? Not much. But it comes in awfully handy for scientists who, up until the middle of the eighteenth century, had to say something like ‘that little yellow flower with the spots on its petals’ every time they wanted to compare notes," The Linnaean System of Taxonomic Classification, Judy Jones and William Wilson, An Incomplete Education