"Re-inventing" the Camellia sasanqua
There are many wonderful old Camellia sasanquas, some now approaching the century mark, still blooming faithfully each autumn. However, there are others hanging around that have lost their disease resistance: Cleopatra, Maiden’s Blush, Cotton Candy, Sparkling Burgundy, Setsugekka among them.
Our background is in landscape design and we were often frustrated at the paucity of Camellia sasanqua selections available-this despite the fact they are among the world's most beautiful and useful ornamental shrubs.
In 1988, inspired by the successful Camellia sasanqua work of Tom Dodd Jr., we began a breeding program with the following objectives in mind:
►Inject hybrid vigor and disease resistance into the species.
►Lengthen the Fall bloom season into Winter.
►Select for vigorous forms for screening.
►Select for compact, semi-dwarf shrubs that bloom profusely.
The results below are becoming quite popular…look for more to come.
For a lighthearted look at breeding Camellia sasanquas, visit our "Blog" page in the link above. For downloadable pictures of Camellias, visit our "Photo Gallery" page.
Camellia sasanqua (hiemalis) ‘Aglaia’™ ~ Strong, spreading habit as wide as tall. Perhaps best used in masses. Coppery new growth in Spring and Summer is interesting. The rather large flowers are fully double (rose-form) and a rich pink darkening to a nearly crimson center. Blooms over an extended period. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Autumn Sentinel’™ ~ As the name implies, a narrow, columnar grower to 10’. Small soft pink flowers bloom in clusters along the slender stems. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia x vernalis 'Dabney's Star'™ ~ Seedling of the celebrated 'Star Above Star', with large semi-double to loose peony flowers. The white blending to pink border, coupled with the long bloom season, make this cold-hardy shrub a Fall-Winter delight. Bushy, upright habit to 6'-9'. Named for our good friend, Dabney Turley of Dabney's Nursery, Memphis, TN. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua 'Daydream Believer'™~ For all practical purposes this is a pure white form of 'Daydream'. Upright, very fast growth makes a quick screen. Simple, single, white, fragrant flowers early in the season. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua hybrid 'Dream Angel'™~ Hybrid of Camellia 'Yume', itself a hybrid of a Camellia sasanqua. Semi-dwarf habit, rounded growth to 4' x 4'. The flowers are unique, a soft porcelain pink with white feathered edges. Has a long bloom season, from October through Christmas. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua hybrid 'Dream Quilt'™~ Another 'Yume' hybrid, this one with a low, wide-spreading habit, suitable for uses in masses. Brilliant pink and white flowers have a "pinwheel" form and bloom off and on throughout the Fall and Winter. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua hybrid 'Dream Team'™~ A seedling of 'Yume' with the same long bloom season-October into late February in our climate. Slower growing when young, but rewards patience with a dense, upright bush covered in unique white and pink flowers. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia x vernalis 'Eos Variegated™~ Found as a branch sport on 'Eos', the variegated-leaf form makes an interesting shrub. Consistent pattern to the green and white leaves and large white flowers every Fall. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua 'Feathered Edge'™ ~ Compact plant with a rounded growth habit, probably maturing at 4'-5'. White to blush flowers gradually darken toward the edge and have feathered streaks radiating toward the center. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua 'Green’s Blues’™ Growth habit, and bloom time are same as its parent, ‘Shi-shi-gashira’. However, the “buds emerge grape-juice purple, open to a rich purple-blue, and by the second day lose all their red tones, revealing a truly blue camellia.” Bill Finch, Mobile Register. Best color appears in a low Ph soil. 2008 Winner of the International Ralph Peer Award as best new Camellia sasanqua. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana Nana’™ ~ A compact growing seedling of ‘Hana Jiman’ with the same profusion of fragrant, brilliant flowers. White, edged broadly in magenta-red. New Spring growth is purple. We expect ‘Hana Nana’ may be kept 4-6’ in it's natural rounded form. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua 'Moonshadow'™ ~
Very vigorous, bushy grower with large double blooms similar to the popular 'Leslie Ann', but with larger flowers. Moonshadow will make a nice specimen or screen. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua 'Green 99-006' PP 20,539 October Magic® Bride~ Rich, dark green foliage and pure white double flowers, coupled with a dense semi-dwarf conical habit, make this cultivar unique among white-flowered sasanquas. Too often, larger growing sasanquas are forced into situations where they are pruned into bloomless green globs. October Bride can solve that problem, budding so profusely each summer that the growth that follows is minimal. A Green Nurseries introduction offered through the Southern Living Plant Collection.
Camellia sasanqua 'October Magic® Carpet' ppaf~ Our latest introduction to the Southern Living Plant Collection named for the bushy, spreading habit. When planted in mas, truly forms a carpet of dark green foliage with unique, heavily-frilled, double pink flowers in Fall. A Green Nurseries introduction offered through the Southern Living Plant Collection.
Camellia sasanqua 'Green 99-012' PP 20,453 October Magic® Dawn~ Compact growth to 5'-7' with dark foliage that sets off the very soft peach-pink flowers. Blooms later in the sasanqua season bridging a gap between sasanquas and japonicas. The dense, conical to pyramidal habit lends itself to specimen or hedge use. A Green Nurseries introduction offered through the Southern Living Plant Collection.
Camellia sasanqua 'Green 97-039' PP 20,566 October Magic® Inspiration ~ A seedling of the famous C. sasanqua 'Mine-No-Yuki'. The high-centered, peony-form flowers are interspersed with semidouble flowers. They don't all look like the one pictured, but when they do, are often entered in flower shows. A vigorous, upright grower useful as a specimen or hedge. We find the best flowers appear when the plant is provided afternoon shade. A Green Nurseries introduction offered through the Southern Living Plant Collection.
Camellia sasanqua 'Green 99-016' PP 24,887 October Magic® Ivory' ~ Please allow us a digression here...'Mine- No-Yuki is the standard in white Camellia sasanquas but it grows prostrate when young and irregularly as it ages, eventually becoming a magnificent tree. The spreading habit when young, leads to the belief it can be kept low (so much so that the synonym 'White Doves' was bestowed upon it- as if re-naming it would somehow make it perform differently.) October Magic Ivory has a bushy, vigorous, symmetrical, upright habit making it a clear new choice for an upright, white-flowered, Camellia sasanqua. Flowers are similar to 'Mine-No-Yuki' but with more petals giving them a carnation-like appearance. A Green Nurseries introduction offered through the Southern Living Plant Collection.
Camellia sasanqua 'Green 94-035' PP20,465 October Magic® Orchid~ Fast becoming a staple for landscape designers, due to the dense, semi-dwarf nature and ability to bloom profusely over a long season each Fall. The buds form so heavily in summer, that little pruning is needed thereafter. Flowers are a high semidouble with varying tones of white and orchid pink.
A Green Nurseries introduction offered through the Southern Living Plant Collection..
Camellia sasanqua 'October Magic® Pink Perplexion ppaf~ So named for the difficulty in describing the color. A semi-dwarf plant with spreading to rounded, compact growth to 4'-5'. Blooms heavily at a young age. The soft pink flowers remind one of Camellia japonica 'Pink Perfection'.
A Green Nurseries introduction offered through the Southern Living Plant Collection..
Camellia sasanqua 'Green 98-009' PP20,506 October Magic® Rose~ Named for it's distinctive growth habit, resembling a "pillar rose", and for the "florabunda"-like clusters of flowers that appear along the stems. Can be kept to a tight, column with pruning. Flowers are coral-red and begin early in the season continuing for an extended period. A Green Nurseries introduction offered through the Southern Living Plant Collection.
Camellia sasanqua 'Green 02-003' PP 24,538 October Magic® Ruby~ Our newest offering through the Southern Living Plant Collection and PDSI. A truly red, peony-form Camellia sasanqua. Has the dense, semi-dwarf nature of 'Shi-Shi-Gashira' but a softer appearance in the landscape. Blooms heavily throughout the Fall.
Camellia sasanqua 'Green 94-010' PP20,454 October Magic® Snow~ A seedling of the wonderful old sasanqua 'Mine-No-Yuki', October Magic Snow has similar flowers, but there, the comparison ends. Compact, rounded habit to 6' x 6' with red-purple new growth in Spring. Flowers profusely in Fall, the blooms often lightly edged in pink and a pink cast appearing in the center. A Green Nurseries introduction offered through the Southern Living Plant Collection.
Camellia sasanqua 'Purple Haze'™ is actually purple! Small rose-form to formal double flowers appear early in the season and ours are still blooming at Thanksgiving. Compact, bushy, upright habit to 4'-5'. As with 'Green's Blues', the best purple color is achieved in an acid soil. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua (hiemalis) ‘Rose Of Autumn’™ ~ This seedling of ‘Kanjiro’ surpasses its parent in vigor and flower interest. It is the fastest growing “sasanqua” we have ever seen, quickly forming a tall screen planting. The large ruffled flowers are a glowing, almost iridescent rose, deepening in colder weather. Profuse, blooming over a very long season. Has (we begrudgingly admit) become a favorite rootstock for use in grafting due to it's vigorous, disease resistant nature. 2012 Winner of the International Ralph Peer Award as best new Camellia sasanqua. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Sarrel'™ ~ A true groundcover camellia! Growth is much like Gardenia radicans. Our original 22 year-old plant is 4’ tall and 10’ wide. All one has to do is prune any longer shoots back into the interior of the shrub. Flowers are ruffled double pink softly marbled white and bloom very early in the Fall. Prefers light shade. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua 'Green 99-031' PP 24,888 ~Susy Dirr Sasanqua ~ Large, bright pink, double flowers adorn this most vigorous shrub each autumn. Rapid, bushy growth to 8'-12'. Named to honor the indomitable spirit shown by the daughter of Bonnie and Dr. Mike Dirr. A portion of the proceeds benefits victims of cystic fibrosis through the "Sweet Melissa Fund" at the University of North Carolina Memorial Hospital. A Green Nurseries introduction in conjunction with Plants Nouveau.
Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide Cheer'™ ~ We continue our quest for true red Camellia sasanquas with this introduction. The flower color is just like Yuletide but the plant is a bit more vigorous. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide Season'™ ~ Seedling of the popular 'Yuletide'. Compact, upright, sturdy grower with semidouble red flowers over a long autumn season. Stronger growth than 'Yuletide'. A Green Nurseries introduction.
Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide Spirit'™~ Seedling of the popular 'Yuletide'. Vigorous grower with a dense, upright and spreading habit. Unusual flower color-hard to describe-perhaps a very deep coral red. Best flowers when afternoon shade is provided. A Green Nurseries introduction.