A new Sasanqua seedling that attracts attention with bright globular shape flowers

My new Camellia sasanqua seedling: Yuri Panchul YP0044, tentative name ‘Sunnyvale Carnival’. It was praised by well-known nurserymen and camellia collectors Tom Nuccio, Daniel Charvet and Brad King.

The seed parent of this plant is C. x hiemalis ‘Kanjiro’ and the pollen parent is probably C. sasanqua ‘Bert Jones’, since it grows next to Kanjiro in my garden and the seedling’s flower size and globular shape has some features of ‘Bert Jones’.

I came to this name after I went with my oldest son Albert Panchul to Christmas park in San Jose, the largest city in Silicon Valley, and my son got excited by the festivities. When he saw the carousel and people, he shouted “Look! It’s a Carnival!” When I saw the flower, I remembered the episode and the name stuck.

‘Sunnyvale Carnival’ is a strong, spreading, fast growing plant with big shiny leaves and large globular flowers, a combination of white and pink. It can grow in full sun, but grows optimally in partial sun location.

Camellia Flower Show in Redwood City, California

At the annual Camellia Flower Show of San Francisco Peninsula Camellia Society, Bay Area camellia enthusiasts present their newly-opened flowers in competition for best bloom. This show is a prime place to meet with camellia growers and hybridizers, learn about the art of camellia growing and buy a well-selected plant you cannot buy in a regular gardening store.

56th Annual Camellia Show and Plant Sale

Community Activities Building
1400 Roosevelt Ave
Redwood City, CA 94061


Saturday, February 11, 2017: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Sunday, February 12, 2017: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm


Saturday, February 11, 2017: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday, February 12, 2017: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Workshop Daily at 2:00 pm

Free Admission

Screenshot 2017-01-18 17.48.50

Screenshot 2017-01-18 17.49.19

Screenshot 2017-01-18 18.11.35

Screenshot 2017-01-18 18.16.00

2017-01-15 12.19.36

2017-01-15 12.19.48


‘Panaché de Gaujacq’ – one of only four striped sasanquas I ever saw

A couple years ago I went to Nuccio’s and Tom Nuccio gave me a scion of a rare Camellia sasanqua ‘Panaché de Gaujacq’, This is only one of four striped sasanquas I ever saw: ‘Stars’N’Stripes’ from Nuccio’s, ‘Autumn Carnival’ from Camellia Forest Nursery, ‘Panaché de Gaujacq’ and my own seedling Yuri Panchul #YP0108. Such varigation is caused by genetical mutations, unlike virus-induced variegation of blotched sasanquas. Today I got the first bloom of ‘Panaché de Gaujacq’ in my garden. Enjoy!

I made this picture in the morning light:


I made this picture in the evening light:








A new sasanqua seedling with “rabbit ear” petals

A new Camellia sasanqua seedling originated by Yuri Panchul (Yuri Panchul #0148). The flower is pink, irregular double, medium size, sometimes include “rabbit ear” petals. The growth habit is spreading. Similar cultivars include ‘Showa-no-sakae’ and ‘Rosette’ but they don’t form “rabbit ear” petals.

Новый сеянец камелии горной (Camellia sasanqua), временное обозначение Yuri Panchul #0148. Автор – Юрий Панчул (Yuri Panchul). Цветок розовый, махровый, несколько хаотичной формы, средних размеров, иногда содержит лепестки с характерной закрученной формой “заячих ушей” (rabbit ears). Куст раскидистый. Сходные сорта – ‘Showa-no-sakae’ и ‘Rosette’, но у них не бывает лепестков формы “заячих ушей”.







A new sasanqua seedling with flat formal double pink flower and upright growth habit

A new Camellia sasanqua seedling originated by Yuri Panchul (Yuri Panchul #0138). The flower is pink, formal double, quite flat and relatively small (45-50 mm). The leaves are on smaller side (45×25 mm), the branches are sturdy and the growth habit is upright. A similar cultivar is ‘Chansonette’ but ‘Chansonette’ has flexible branches with spreading, almost weeping habit, larger flowers and leaves. Another similar cultivar is ‘Enishi’ but ‘Enishi’ branching habit is spreading and generally more chaotic.

Новый сеянец камелии горной (Camellia sasanqua), временное обозначение Yuri Panchul #0138. Автор – Юрий Панчул (Yuri Panchul). Цветок розовый, махрово-декоративной формы, довольно плоский и сравнительно небольшой (45-50 мм). Листья небольшие (45×25 мм), ветви крепкие, растет вертикально. Похожий культивар – ‘Chansonette’, но ‘Chansonette’ растет раскидисто, напоминая плакучую иву, его цветы и листья больше по размеру. Другой похожий культивар – ‘Enishi’, но у ‘Enishi’ более раскидистые и вообще несколько хаотично растущие ветки.













‘Shikoku Stars’ under the frost

One December morning (to be precise on the morning of December 9, 2009), I went to my garden and saw this beautiful scene: a Camellia sasanqua ‘Shikoku Stars’ under the frost. Don’t you think it is a Winter Wonderland? This camellia is actually not a cultivar but a selection of C. sasanqua growing in the forest in the northern part of Shikoku Island. It was collected and propagated by David or Clifford Parks from Camellia Forest Nursery:

Camellia sasanqua 'Shikoku Stars' under the frost
Camellia sasanqua ‘Shikoku Stars’ under the frost
Camellia sasanqua 'Shikoku Stars' under the frost
Camellia sasanqua ‘Shikoku Stars’ under the frost
Camellia sasanqua 'Shikoku Stars' under the frost
Camellia sasanqua ‘Shikoku Stars’ under the frost
Camellia sasanqua 'Shikoku Stars' under the frost
Camellia sasanqua ‘Shikoku Stars’ under the frost
Camellia sasanqua 'Shikoku Stars' under the frost
Camellia sasanqua ‘Shikoku Stars’ under the frost
Camellia sasanqua 'Shikoku Stars' under the frost
Camellia sasanqua ‘Shikoku Stars’ under the frost
Camellia sasanqua 'Shikoku Stars' under the frost
Camellia sasanqua ‘Shikoku Stars’ under the frost
Camellia sasanqua 'Shikoku Stars' under the frost
Camellia sasanqua ‘Shikoku Stars’ under the frost

Dan Charvet / Heartwood Nursery in Fort Bragg, CA

Dan Charvet is a camellia hybridizer working in northern California, near a small city called Fort Bragg. The climate of the area is practically frost-free, but at the same time cool and foggy because of proximity to the ocean. The nursery area is surrounded by conifer forests with Redwoods, Douglas Firs, Bishop pines and other trees. There are also patches of Pygmy Forest – areas of stunted conifers, huckleberries and rhododendrons that grow this way because of rare combination of chemical and structural properties of soil and soil horizons in these areas.

Dan called his place Heartwood Nursery. He has 6 greenhouses with approximately 10,000 plants. Every year Dan hand-pollinates around 2000 flowers, gets around 1000 seeds, 800 seeds germinate and approximately 600 survive long-term. Most of seedlings bloom in 5-7 years. At the end Dan registers on average 1 cultivar a year.

Dan’s selection criteria include resistance to petal blight, variegation and overall suitability of the plant to be a nice garden plant, not just a source of flowers for the show.









A new discovery for me: apparently bottom heat (delivered with a special electric pad) does make big difference for seedling growth. Here is a batch of regular seedlings without bottom heat:


And here is a batch of seedlings grown with bottom heat. The difference in vigor is obvious:


Dan mostly hybridizes Winter-flowering camellias, not Fall-flowering. There were just a few flowers this time in October. However there were many fruits, including very unusual fruits. For example this one has a size of a crabapple:





Variegated leaves – one of Dan’s interests:


Dan mostly mixes soil by himself, using 1:1 peat and fir bark (no perlite, surprisingly). However he also recommends “Sunshine MIX 1” with words “here is a mix that instantly makes anybody  a nursery professional”:



Dan is going to deliver a lecture in Redwood City this Monday, October 27, 2014:

Kira-Shiro-Kantsubaki, 吉良白寒椿

C. x hiemalis ‘Kira-shiro-kantsubaki’. 吉良白寒椿. Names means “Kira’s White Winter camellia”. Released in 1960s by Kira Firm of Nishio City.

Medium-compact, well-formed spreading plant with double white flowers of pretty shape. A modest but reliable seed producer.

I use it in my hybridization program because of habit, good shape of a double flower and seed production.

Comparison with other double white flowers:

Smaller than ‘Asakura’.

Larger and has better shape than ‘Paradise Little Liane’.

Less full than Seikaiha.

More interesting shape than ‘Silver Dollar’. Less bright white comparing to ‘Silver Dollar’.

Somewhat smaller than ‘White Doves’.

More interesting shape than ‘Dwarf Shishi’.









A new striped Camellia sasanqua seedling #0108

I got a new striped Camellia sasanqua seedling in my garden. Right now its name is #0108. Striped sasanquas are rare so it is an important find.

I observed only two other striped sasanquas – ‘Stars’N’Stripes’ from Nuccio’s Nurseries and ‘Autumn Carnival’ from Camellia Forest Nursery. #0108 is a seedling of ‘Stars’N’Stripes’. The seedling is more sun-tolerant and has smaller leaves than its parent. In terms of flower shape ‘Stars’N’Stripes’ is more consistently nicer, but #108 has some nice-looking flowers as well.

‘Autumn Carnival’ from Camellia Forest Nursery differs from ‘Stars’N’Stripes’ and #0108 in lighter color. I ordered three plans from Camellia Forest Nursery but was not able to grow them. They are either very sensitive to overwatering or very sensitive to the chemical the nursery puts to them to kill fire ants before shipping from North Carolina to California.

Anyway, here is #108:








For the comparison, here is ‘Stars’N’Stripes’ from Nuccio’s Nurseries:







And two (bad) pictures of ‘Autumn Carnival’ from Camellia Forest Nursery:



Camellia sasanqua ‘Midnight Lover’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Midnight Lover’. A new introduction from Camellia Forest Nursery. The color is crimson pink, not true red like in ‘Yuletide’ and ‘Mieko Tanaka’. The flower shape is interestingly asymmetrical. This is a nice plant, but I will probably give it to somebody since 1) I already have both reds (‘Yuletide’, ‘Mieko Tanaka’) and dark pinks (‘Reverend Ida’, ‘Bonanza’) and 2) it does not fit into my hybridizing program (I am interested in small leaves and variegation)

Camellia sasanqua 'Midnight Lover'
Camellia sasanqua ‘Midnight Lover’
Camellia sasanqua 'Midnight Lover'
Camellia sasanqua ‘Midnight Lover’
Camellia sasanqua 'Midnight Lover'
Camellia sasanqua ‘Midnight Lover’
Camellia sasanqua 'Midnight Lover'
Camellia sasanqua ‘Midnight Lover’
Camellia sasanqua 'Midnight Lover'
Camellia sasanqua ‘Midnight Lover’
Camellia sasanqua 'Midnight Lover'
Camellia sasanqua ‘Midnight Lover’

Featured giveaway – ‘Miss Ed’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Miss Ed’ is a very unreliable beauty. Sometimes (like 1 time out of 100) you get a strikingly beautiful flower from this plant, but 99 times out of 100 you don’t. Most ‘Miss Ed’ flowers suffer from a combination of not particularly well-formed petals with deformed stamens. I don’t mind the absence of stamens in reliable formal double plants like ‘Chansonette’, but if the stamens are present at all, they should look good. Unfortunately with ‘Miss Ed’ they usually don’t. In addition, I am not impressed with its growth habit – generally upright with somewhat chaotic branching and spreading. Having said that, I can show that sometimes ‘Miss Ed’ does looks good:





Featured giveaway – ‘Sarrel’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Sarrel’ is a nice low-growing, almost creeping plant with large pink double flowers. Unfortunately it does not feet my breeding objectives (small leaves) so I gave it away.

Here is what Camellia Forest Nursery catalor says about it:

“This spreading plant could easily be kept under two feet tall with a little pruning or training of the branches. The first time my plant bloomed I had to run for the camera since it was a perfect formal double pink flower. The bloom peaks in mid season. This was introduced by Bobby Green.”




Featured annual giveaway: ‘Gingetsu Perkins’

I got this plant from Tom Nuccio. Tom told me that he got it from a person named Perkins under the name ‘Gingetsu’. Obviously this plant is not ‘Gingetsu’ because the real ‘Gingetsu’ is a well-known white Camellia sasanqua, from Higo-sazanka group of cultivars, originated in Japanese province of Kumamoto.

I suspect this misnamed ‘Gingetsu Perkins’ might be a cross between C. sasanqua and C. reticulata. Its flower size is unusually big for sasanqua, but it has a good sun tolerange. It is also fast growing, upright and somewhat loose. It is much easier to cross C. sasanqua with C. reticulata than to cross C. sasanqua with C. japonica because of their chromosome counts. Both C. sasanqua and C. reticulata usually have 90 chromosomes, while C. japonica – just 30. For more information about Camellia chromosomes see Camellia sasanqua botany (with pictures).


One of my ‘Gingetsu Perkins’ plants got what looks like a bud mutation, and produced a flower with petaloids:



Featured annual giveaway: ‘Tiny Gem’

This new little camellia looks very unusual for anybody except probably a hardcore Camellia botanist. The flowers of ‘Tiny Gem’ are tiny, stamens have orangish tint, small dark leaves are unusually serrated, stem nodes and internodes do not look like anything in japonica-sasanqua-reticulata world. In addition, ‘Tiny Gem’s’ growth habit is chaotic and the plant requires full shade to grow well.

According to Tom Nuccio, the originator of ‘Tiny Gem’, this plant is likely to be a seedling of C. fraterna, a species from Theopsys section of Camellia genus. Now if we look into Ming Tien Lu’s book about camellia species, we find that Theopsys clade is very distant from Paracamellia clade where C. sasanqua belongs. In fact, Theopsys is much closer to tea plant – Camellia sinensis of Thea section of the genus.

Therefore it is unlikely I can ever cross any relative of C. sasanqua with ‘Tiny Gem’. So I don’t need this cultivar. But if you like strange compact plants for your shady patio, this plant might be just right for you. If you live in northern California and want to get this plant from me – see the details at ANNUAL GIVEAWAY OF CAMELLIAS





Annual giveaway of camellias

Every year I am giving away some camellias from my collection. Most of giveaways are very nice garden plants; they just don’t fit my hybridization program or I have too many plants of this variety. The events I am going to use this year to distribute plants include:

A meeting of San Francisco Peninsula Camellia Society:

Monday, November 18, 7 pm to 9 pm
Veterans’ Memorial Building
1435 Madison Avenue, Redwood City

I also may distribute some at the meeting of Santa Clara County Camellia Society:

Wednesday, November 20, 7.30 pm
Jamison-Brown House
1505 Warburton Ave
Santa Clara, CA 95050

And finally if anything left, I will do giveaways at Russian party Shashlyking Bay Area:

Saturday, November 23, 11 am to 5 pm
Ortega Park, Sunnyvale, California

Here is a brief overview of some plants I plan to giveaway this year:

Anemone form Camellia oleifera ‘Jaune’

Camellia oleifera is a relative of Camellia sasanqua. This gorgeous anemony-form ‘Jaune’ cultivar with a ball of yellow petaloids is very rare in the United States. Three years ago I got a scion in our local camellia club, grafted it, and finally it is blooming in my garden.

A British horticulturalist Jennifer Trehane in her camellia encyclopedia mentioned doubts whether this plant a true C. oleifera. I second this: the leaves, stems, bark (and of course petaloids) are different from other oleifera seedlings and hybrids I have in my garden. Some DNA analysis is needed to be sure.







A miniature Camellia sasanqua ‘Jewel Box’ grafted on ‘Kanjiro’ tree

I mentioned this sasanqua in an article Camellias for Dwarfs and Elves that was published in American Camellia Yearbook 2011:


‘Jewel Box’ is the smallest of sasanqua cultivars – its typical leaf is just 30×12 mm as comparing to a more regular leaves of sasanqua cultivar ‘Jean May’ that measures 62×28 mm or a typical Camellia japonica leaf of ‘Kamo Honnami’ that measures 90×60 mm. ‘Jewel Box’ originated in Nuccio’s Nurseries, California. It produces a lot of somewhat wavy single white flowers, sometimes with a pink tint on the border. It appears this cultivar was used to decorate Japanese garden in Huntington Library and Gardens in Sam Marino, California. This garden has the healthiest and best maintained ‘Jewel Box’ planted between rocks along the sidewalk.

‘Jewel Box’ does produce seeds and these seeds sprout, so the cultivar can be used for breeding. However the seedlings are very delicate and easily die when overwatered. The plant’s root system is not very strong, so it is important not to overwater, over-dry or over-fertilize the plant. When grown under sub-optimal condition, this plant frequently shows chrolosis (yellow blotches on leaves) or even have deformed undeveloped leaves. It is difficult to say whether it is a genetic feature, or a result or some virus infection that are frequent among camellia cultivars and result in blotched flowers in pink camellias.

‘Jewel Box’ grows slowly but can be grafted, although it is not the easiest plant to propagate by grafting. Some grafts initially take, but stop growing next year and do not grow beyond stunted stage with a lot of almost opened buds, but no real sprouts. Some other grafts not only take and grow, but develop several large leaves before going back to the size of leaves normal for ‘Jewel Box’. ‘Jewel Box’ may be an interesting subject for a researcher to try different plant hormones – synthetic auxins, gibberellin, etc.

Yuri Panchul. Camellias for Dwarfs and Elves. American Camellia Yearbook 2011