February 28, 2011

My Camellia Collection Blooms

If Valentines became flowers, they would be Camellias.
As February draws to a close, so does the Camellia season. Even here in New England, where one must grow Camellias under glass, the season remains the same. I thought that I would just share some of the highlights from this years' Camellia season in my greenhouse, since many of the plants bloomed for the first time, after I had added about 20 new varieties to the collection last autumn. The plants, most potted in large tubs and clay pots, will only become better over the years since these are long lived shrubs and trees. They will live as long as I will, or as long as I can afford to heat the greenhouse!
The large red single known as 'San Dimas' seems to have the longest lasting blossoms, I have had one floating in a bowl in bloom for 3 weeks.

The anemone form is unique, as can be seen in this tufted-style blossom. This variety, named 'Litstick' is smaller than other Camellias but makes a beautiful small shrub for a pot.

Guillio Nucco has an interesting variegation, red, with spilt milk, I would say. It's lovely.
Finlandia variegated, demonstrates how a white camellia that has a genentic trait for streaking can create a new cultivar. There is 'Finlandia' and then there is 'Finlandia variegated", a peppermint stripped variety that I cannot resist!

The giant boss of stamens in 'San Dimas' is impressive along, but when it is paired with the crimson velvet petals, the blossom suddenly become awesome ( or is is auspicious?).  Go China! Probably the most photogenic Cam in the collection.

 The classic  iconic Rose Form. This form is my favorite, for there is nothing else like it in the plant world. They look like silk flowers from a Nineteenth Century millinery shop.
My happiest surprise this year? The variety named 'HighFragrance', can you guess why? Like lemon custard scented baby powder. Upon entering the warm humid greenhouse in a snowstorm, I could just eat it up!


  1. The rose form wins me over. I wish they were all so we11 designed.

  2. This is a very respectable showing, especially for a Yankee.

  3. Matt! I hope you don't think I was blog-stalking you, but when Tracy @ the Ecotarium showed me who was on her wish list for the Spring Fling, I had to speak up!

    Did you ever exhibit any sculpture at WAM? I feel like I know your name from something a lo-o-o-ng time ago...did you exhibit at the original Tribute to Flora? That would be 20+ years ago...

    Thanks for the fine compliments! The Woo has half the number of florists as when I opened in 2000 (and double the number of supermarkets & big box stores) which makes me sad.

    I hope I get to meet you at the Ecotarium!


  4. Hey Sprout, you might recognize my name from a solo exhibit I had at the Art Museum in 1997 called MATT MATTUS | LURE, ( four room installation in the Hyatt wing?) There were parties and openings and a whole host of hoo ha around the show which ran for 6 months. All that, from another life, havn't done many other exhibits of my work since the Boston ICA show after that. Work just became too consuming.

  5. Maybe you remember the Hammerhead Sharks? :)

  6. YESSSS!!!!! OK, I didn't want to say anything about the sharks out loud, just in case I was way off base, but I most certainly do remember them! And call me crazy (many do), but were there fish eggs of some sort? Or was that something else at WAM?

  7. Matt, what size pots are those? They don't appear very lagre. Also what temperature do you maintain in the greenhouse, day and night, to have such success?

  8. hopflower11:22 AM

    Very nice, indeed. I tend to love Nuccio's Pearl. It is exquisite!


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