No Regrets of White Camellias

Last year I wrote about white camellias as they appear in print and film.

It is hard to think of an encore for these lovely blossoms. Loosely growing Camellia sasanquas have a fresh tea scent especially in the damp. The more formal Camellia japonicas mostly lack fragrance.

I do not know the name of this C. japonica, here for nearly fifty years.

According to one source, a white camellia symbolizes graciousness and is used to tell someone he or she is adorable. Victorian literature frequently featured lovers sending camellias to the object of their affections, who wore the perfect blossoms on their bosoms. I float mine in a bowl of water.

An ample number of tight buds ensures more blooms if a freeze takes open flowers.

As to the pronunciation: most sources read “ca MEE lia.” My Mother in law said “Ca MAYL yuh.”

Evergreen and easy to grow in a subtropical climate, camellias flower in the very gloomiest time of year.



  1. saw some of these in a public garden last week and thought they were early. Never thought to smell them though. Think the Sasanqua has the edge on the Japonicas for grace

    • Nell Jean

       /  January 24, 2012

      Ancient sasanquas are beatiful trees. Ancient C. Japonicas are like green gazebos, lol. Stiff, but when they’re full of blooms they are kind of fun.

  2. I also say cam-mayl-yah. I didn’t even realize it until your post. I’m grateful to have a couple of enormous pink camellias, and one white, planted long ago. They bloom in late-mid winter, all gone now, so I can’t test to see if the white has scent. It grows different than the pink ones. Now I want more.

    • Nell Jean

       /  January 24, 2012

      You can have more. Give them lots of room. I crowded two seedlings that I never expected to grow.

  3. What a beauty! My favorite flower color is white, so I tried twice with a white Camellia, both died (or rather I killed them) :-/

    Yours is stunning!!

    • Nell Jean

       /  January 24, 2012

      Try again, by all means. Don’t plant too deep, mulch with pine straw.

%d bloggers like this: