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).

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

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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.

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