Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Camellias coming through for Spring

Camellias, some of my favourite shrubs, are a mixed bunch.
The earliest flowering group are the "Sasanquas". They start to flower here (in Robertson) in late autumn. In Sydney they flower earlier.
I grow many Williamsii hybrid Camellias, because I like the colour range they give, and also their flowers are not so heavy as the traditional fully double forms my parents grew. Apart from anything, the Williamsii hybrids are less prone to "balling" (where the flowers do not open properly)

Here are just a few "snaps" of some of my Camellias.

Camellia saluensis - one of the parents of the Williamsii hybrids

Typical of this group the flowers fall cleanly on the ground
That leaves this delightful effect
and it keeps the plants "clean" of dead flowers.
The Bowerbirds are happy to eat the fallen flowers

Unfortunately I am not sure of the name of this one.
But what a delightful fresh flower.
These open flowers yield nectar, which keeps the
Brush Wattlebirds and Lewin's Honeyeaters happy.
In turn they pollinate the flowers, giving me chance seedlings.
Bowen Bryant - a lovely fresh pink Williamsii hybrid

"Donation" a prolific flowering Williamsii Hybrid

Camellia Dona Herzilia de Freitas Magalhaes
The hardest name to remember
and even worse to spell.
This particular variety is popular here,

as its flowers go purple as they age,
on our red basalt soil.
This one is yet to change.

There are many more Camellias yet to flower.
I will show more later on in the season.


Flabmeister said...


I am always intrigued about the source of names of things.

I have tried Dr Google on the name of the Spanish lady commemorated by the final specimen to try to find who she was and if possible why her name was used. I have failed completely to get anything helpful. (I don't see a list of sites offering to sell me the variety as 'helpful')

Any ideas?


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
It is a Portuguese named variety (from 1949 as I remember).
Its name comes from a descendant of the explorer Magellan.
I do not know if she was a famous beauty or patron of the arts, or whatever.
There is a famous psychologist with the same last two names. He has written extensively on body language of "smiles". He is much younger than this lady. Maybe a son? Little recorded in English sources that I can find.
It is a popular Camellia, especially in acidic soils (which is what triggers the colour change for which it is famous).
In Sydney soils it is a fairly boring red colour.