Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Camellias are here!

Camellia sasanqua 'Sekiyo'
By Erika Zambello
With fall comes the blooming of many of Duke Gardens' camellias. Camellias are some of my favorite flowers, and when I heard they were out in full force I set off in search of them.

Walking along the path just outside the H.L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, I saw the pink sasanqua camellias that grow as tall as trees. These camellias, Camellia sasanqua 'Maiden's Blush,' were introduced to the U.S. in 1909 by an Alabama nurseryman named Kosaku Sawada, and they have been popular ever since.

Camellia sasanqua 'Maiden's Blush'
More sasanqua camellias, a deeper pink and of the 'Sekiyo' cultivar, can be found near the stone path at the edge of the pond in the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. As their petals fall, they form a delicate blanket carpeting the ground in bold color. Their bright blossoms particularly stand out against the brown of the fallen autumn leaves that give the rest of the ground its texture.

Camellia sasanqua 'Sekiyo'
Finally, my last two favorite camellias can be found outside the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden. The red Camellia 'Midnight Lover' and pink Camellia 'Zakura' are blooming right next to each other, giving me the opportunity to compare the two with ease. The contrast between the color of the blossoms and the deep, shiny green of the leaves is gorgeous. 

Camellia 'Midnight Lover'
I am especially obsessed with the camellias this fall, and there are many more in the Gardens that I haven't seen yet! Be sure to check out the different camellia varieties for yourself. And consider attending "Camellias and Tea," a Durham Garden Forum class that will be held on January 21, 2014, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Duke Gardens. For more information, please email the Garden Forum.

Camellia  'Zakura'
Blogger Erika Zambello is a graduate student studying Ecosystem Science and Conservation at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.

No comments:

Post a Comment