Camellia sinensis

10 Jun

Camellia sinensis (15/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Camellia sinensis (15/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering: Spring

Soil: Moist, well-drained, acidic

Eventual Height: 5m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Theaceae

Camellia sinensis is an evergreen flowering shrub or small tree with a bushy habit. Its dark green leathery leaves are elliptic with serrulate margins and a cuneate tip, up to 14cm long and 7.5cm broad. Its white flowers are up to 4cm across with prominent yellow stamens and appear along the branches, particularly at the ends.

Camellia sinensis, commonly know as Tea Plant, Tea Shrub or Tea Tree, is native to south, east and southeast Asia. In it native habitat it grows in evergreen broadleaved forests. This shrub is commercially grown to produce tea.

The etymological root of the binomial name Camellia is derived from and named after the botanist George Kamel (1661 – 1706), a Czech born missionary. Sinensis is derived from the Latin meaning ‘from China’.

Camellia sinensis Leaf (15/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Camellia sinensis Leaf (15/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

The landscape architect may find Camellia sinensis useful an evergreen, spring flowering shrub which thrives in acidic soils. It may also be grown as an effective evergreen hedge. 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 frosts.

Ecologically, Camellia sinensis flowers are attractive to some pollinating insects.

Camellia sinensis prefers moist, humus rich, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers neutral to acidic soils. It dislikes dry soils.

Camellia sinensis requires little maintenance. If necessary, pruning should be carried out after flowering.

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Landscape Architecture

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