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.

‘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

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’.


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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:

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

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

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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:

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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

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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:

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‘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