Camellia japonica ‘Donkelaarii’

23 Jan

Camellia japonica 'Donkelaarii' Flower (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Camellia japonica ‘Donkelaarii’ Flower (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Position: Dappled to full shade

Flowering: Late winter to early spring

Soil: Moist, well-drained, acidic

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Theaceae

Camellia japonica ‘Donkelaarii’ is a medium sized evergreen winter flowering shrub. The evergreen leaves are alternate, have serrate margins, leathery in texture, dark green on the upper surface, paler on the underside and are up to 10cm long. The young branches are purple/ brown becoming grey with age. The flowers have deep pink petals and protruding stamen and are semi-double. They  appear along the branches, particularly at the ends are 12cm in diameter. The fruit consists of a three compartmented globe shaped capsule which has a diameter of up to 2cm.

Camellia japonica ‘Donkelaarii’ is commonly known as the Japanese Camellia Donkelaarii. The species Camellia japonica is native to Japan, Korea and China. In it native habitat it grows in forests at altitudes of 300m to 1,100m. This plant should be positioned in a site sheltered from cold, dry winds and early morning sun as buds and flowers may be damaged by cold winds and late frosts.

The etymological root of the binomial name Camellia is derived from and named after the botanist George Kamel. Japonica is derived from the Latin for Japan as it was first discovered there by Engelbert Kaempfer in the eighteenth century. Donkelaarii is  named after the nineteenth century head gardener of the Leuven Kruiduin.

Camellia japonica 'Donkelaarii' (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Camellia japonica ‘Donkelaarii’ (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

The landscape architect may find Camellia japonica ‘Donkelaarii’ useful a winter flowering shrub which will tolerated shaded conditions and acidic soils.

Ecologically, Camellia japonica ‘Donkelaarii’ is of little wildlife value in the UK.

Camellia japonica ‘Donkelaarii’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers neutral to acidic soils.

Camellia japonica ‘Donkelaarii’ requires little maintenance.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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