Thursday, January 30, 2014

My favorite plant this week: Camellia hybrid 'Taylor's Perfection'

Two plants vied for recognition as my favorite plant this week, one reflecting the blue of the sky and the other the pink of the evening sunset.  Influenced by a particularly pretty sunset when I made my selection, the pink choice won out this time.

Sunset reflected in the clouds over the harbor (facing approximately southeast)

Sunset reflected in the clouds on the other side of the house (facing approximately northwest)



Camellia hybrid 'Taylor's Perfection' is my contribution to the weekly meme sponsored by Loree of danger garden.  Hopefully, Loree will forgive the fact that the Camellia is pink and not in any way dangerous.

Camellia hybrid 'Taylor's Perfection'



I planted this Camellia in February 2011, just 2 months after we moved into our current home.  I think I was probably feeling nostalgic about my old, shady garden at that point - I'd planted quite a few Camellias there, all of which were too large to dig up and bring with me.  Other than an area directly behind the house, already planted with Camellia sasanqua, my new garden had few spots suitable for Camellias except the area alongside the garage I chose for 'Taylor's Perfection,' where it enjoys cool morning sun.

According to my records, 'Taylor's Perfection' was labeled as a C. japonica; however, in researching the plant for this post, I found that it's actually classified as C. williamsii, which is a cross between C. japonica and C. saluenensis.

Mine is currently somewhere between 3 and 4 feet tall but it can grow to 6-12 feet (1.8-3.7 meters) tall and 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters) wide.  Several sources held that it's hardy in USDA zones 7-10.  Like most Camellias, it needs average water and acidic soil.

It's classified as a mid-season bloomer, which in California generally means it should bloom between January and March.  This season, my first blooms appeared before Christmas.  The flowers are light pink, semi-double and reportedly fragrant, although my nose was unable to detect much of a scent.  The flower petals usually fan backward but the petals of those currently open have curled inward slightly at the edges, perhaps in response to the recent dry Santa Ana winds, or the drier than normal soil due to our lack of winter rain.

December bloom, characteristic of the appearance shown by the blooms in 2011 and 2012

Most of the current blooms have inward facing petals with a darker pink edge



The flowers have a reputation for nodding downward slightly, as you can see in the picture below.




Nodding flowers and curled petals notwithstanding, it's still a very pretty plant.  Please visit Loree at danger garden to view her favorite of the week and find links to other gardeners' selections.


16 comments:

  1. Very pretty. Peter recommended Camellia sasanqua for my new front beds, but I'm a bit worried it will get too much sun there. Of course, PNW sun is nothing like California sun. I like the idea a lot. Your sunset photos are gorgeous!

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    1. As pretty as they are, Camellia sasanqua are also tough plants. It's worth a try, Alison!

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  2. Pretty, pretty, pretty! I can see why it's a favourite. My camellias are a mile from flowering yet. It's nice that you managed to find the perfect spot for it. I had a gorgeous Camellia in my old property and like you way too big to bring with me.
    My Camellias planted in 2012 didn't flower last year but I'm hoping for at least a few this year.
    You've a nice healthy specimen there Kris - it's odd too read you can give it cool morning sun - morning sun for them is a no no over here as the frosted buds are damaged if they are thawed out too quickly.

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    1. We rarely get frost in this area so that may be the difference, Angie.

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  3. I planted this camellia two years ago, and despite its small size it has put out plenty of blooms. None so far yet, due to our colder than normal weather; but it is filled with blooms. I planted it beside a woodland path. I dream of walking beneath its nodding blooms one day.

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    1. Spring will get to the southeast one day, Deb!

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  4. An amazing sunset.
    What a gorgeous Camellia. I don't know this one. Does it hang on to its dead flowers like some Camellias do? It's lovely colour and shape.

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    1. Unfortunately no, Chloris, the flowers drop within a few days, leaving a blanket of pink petals on the ground until I scoop them up.

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  5. Think pink and this one looks like a sweet one! Fab choice Kris!

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  6. The sunset pics are stunning, and the camellia is so pretty!

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    1. My choice really was influenced by that sunset, Amy - we don't usually see clouds in that vivid pink.

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  7. Great paring of plant and sky! I do love a big lush camellia flower (peony too, even pink!). We inherited a candy cane striped bloomer in front of our house. I tried to make it work with my planting scheme but in the end it had to go (to a happy collector). Now I enjoy those blooms in others gardens around town. Sadly I can't go right up and cut a branch to bring inside like I used to...

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    1. This one actually doesn't make a good cut flower, Loree - I should have thought to mention that. It falls apart much more quickly than most of the C. japonica I grew at our old house.

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  8. Beautiful!! I also like the sky to flower connection. :o) I only have one spot where a camellia would thrive and unfortunately, it's stuffed with other plants. Need more garden!

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    1. Don't we all, Tammy! Actually, this 1/2 acre lot is straining my pocketbook so I guess it's a good thing we don't have the 2 acres I always said I wanted.

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