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 ‘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:
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.”
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:
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
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:
BRAD KING – MY CAMELLIA JOURNEY
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
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: