January 3, 2015
Camellia sasanqua is one of the most popular species of camellia in Mississippi. You’ve really missed a chance for some landscape WOW if you haven’t planted one in your yard. Camellia sasanqua is a member of the tea family and are considered a jewel of the southern garden. They provide nice flower color from fall into winter. Later in the season the fallen petals resemble a colorful mulch. Camellia sasanqua will produce a dazzling flowering show, primarily in shades of pinks to white. These plants are tolerant of direct sunlight, but as a general rule, partial shade will produce the best flowering. Maybe it’s because of the time of year and just past the holidays, I really like the selection called Yuletide. The flower petals are a festive cheerful red and along with the clusters of golden yellow stamens will brighten anyone’s day. While these plants are currently small, like all sasanquas they have the potential to grow much larger. Mississippi Medallion winner Shishi Gashira is an outstanding shrub. Its waxy, leathery leaves are coupled with pretty blooms. Why would you plant anything else? In the late fall and early winter, Shishi produces seemingly hundreds of semi-double, rose-pink blooms. The cheerful pink flowers open to expose bright yellow stamens, making the flower even more beautiful. Shishi Gashira is called a dwarf form of camellia sasanqua reaching about 3 feet tall. It’s still a good time to buy a camellia sassanqua for your landscape. You get to see what the flowers look like and add color to the winter landscape. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.