An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

March 28, 2013


Last Saturday was the big season opener of the local high school rowing season.  This is my son's first year participating, and my wife and I were looking forward to the event.  It just so happens that the regatta is held at the Norfolk Botanical Garden where I work. Although this is nearly an all day event, he only raced once.  So between bouts of being the dutiful parent, I was able to spend some time weeding my vegetable plot, and when that grew old I took a stroll through the gardens.  I made my way to the visitor center, where the Virginia Camellia Society was holding their annual spring show and sale.  Despite freezing temperatures last week, there were some stunning blooms on display.  Even more stunning was the fact I did not come home with a new camellia.

'Margaret Davis'
Camellia 'Margaret Davis'

'Lasca Beauty'
Camellia 'Lasce Beauty'

This camellia was a mutant sport.
Camellia Mutant

'Royal Velvet Variegated'
Camellia 'Royal Velvet Variegated'

'Sea Foam'
Camellia 'Sea Foam'

'Royal Velvet Variegated'
Camellia 'Royal Velvet Variegated' 2

This was an unnamed seedling.
Camellia Seedling

Camellia 'Tata'

'Elegant Beauty'
Camellia 'Elegant Beauty'

This is 'Firecone'. To give you some scale, it is sitting in a small shot glass.
Camellia 'Firgone'

'Frank Houser Variegated'
Camellia 'Frank Houser Variegated'

'Guest Star'
Camellia 'Guest Star'


  1. Les, thank you for these beautiful blooms. I don't know how you couldn't adopt that Margaret Davis! I fear camellias won't make it here but I'd be willing to try!

  2. mystery solved, Lee!

    great camelia pictures, I just love those blooms.

  3. No crewing photos? Well, the camellia photos were stunning, especially the last one. Thank you for reigniting my interest in what sometimes seems such a common plant in our yard.

  4. Beautiful, I think I like Tata the best. How wonderful to work at a place like the Norfolk Botanic Garden. I remember the days of going to watch the kids' sports events - soccer, basketball, etc. My kids never did rowing, though.

  5. Very beautiful. I think I like Guest Star and the unnamed seedling the best.

  6. It is amazing that you did not come home with a new plant. I would have been very tempted!

  7. thwe margaret Davis and elegant beauty are to die for i wish to have them

  8. Lovely. I keep pressing my nose against the screen, hoping to get a good whiff of the scent. ;-)

  9. Well you certainly have more will power than me! Those are some gorgeous blooms! I think Margaret Davis may be my favorite though...

  10. Rowing is such a cool sport. My youngest son rowed in high school, and we still keep a rowing machine (that I mostly strenuously avoid). And resisting plants builds character, so good for you!

  11. You do have a hard time getting away from work but lucky as well. Love the camellias.

  12. Your camellias are gorgeous; they are so varied in color to be able to support any mood or personality.

  13. Fabulous hybrids. Considering that I guess they all come from C. japonica, more remarkable. Don't know much about hybridizing camellias, but I presume it is done the old fashioned way. This takes a lot of patience since I think it takes about 7 yrs for one to bloom from seed. I also suppose that a lot of hybrids are not sterile?

  14. Nice to see some of the best of the best. Our camellias are just coming in and I believe we shall add some more.

  15. I'm not sure I believe you Les, no camellia purchase? And you with newly reclaimed ground to plant...

  16. One is prettier than the next. I think my favorite in the garden is 'Agnes of the Oaks' a red and white tie-dyed one.
    Our 'surregate' daughter did rowing at GMU and we went to a few events... great sport.

  17. Hi Les, Just happened upon your camellia Flickr gallery. If nobody has mentioned it so far the camellia you could not quite name is Firecone and its probably a variegated version of the cultivar. Originated by Otto Schwabe, Rhodelia Nursery, Oregon in 1945.

    Best from Sydney, Australia

    1. Thank you, John from Sydney. I will make the corrections. It was nice of you to contact me.