Autumn is the time for Camellia sasanquas and on Tuesday I noticed the first blooms of the season. Colored a milky white and tinged with rosy-pink edges, the open flowers of this species are 2-3 inches across.
The variety name of this particular Camellia sasanqua has been lost, but even nameless, it is a carefree, reliable fall bloomer. Maintained at roughly 6 feet tall, at this time of year the plant is full of buds and promise.
Camellias are evergreen and for that reason this and several other Camellias were purchased around 2003 to hide utility equipment at the northeast corner of the house. The dark green leathery leaves, as well as its dense form, make Camellias work very well for screening hedges. The blossoms are an exceptional bonus.
Planted tightly adjacent to the shrub currently blooming is Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide,’ which will produce bright red flowers by November. Sometimes cold weather will damage the flowers but most often there are plenty of red blossoms to float in glass dishes for the Thanksgiving dinner table.
[There is one other Camellia in the garden, though not a sasanqua. It stands further down toward the garden entrance and is a late winter-early spring variety, Camellia ‘Coral Delight’ (C. japonica × C. saluenensis).]
Someday I plan to add more Camellias to the garden. In particular I admire the white formal double flowers of Camellia sasanqua ‘Autumn Moon’. It really is lovely and I believe more white flowers are always useful. There is an open house this weekend at a local camellia nursery—maybe I will have a chance to visit and explore the Camellia world a bit more.