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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Camellia sasanqua 'Shishi Gashira' is My Favorite Plant...This Week

This one's been kicking around since I was but a boy in 1894.  Strangely I don't have one in my garden but at this time of year, before the Camellia japonicas start their blooming that slides winter into spring, the Camellia sasanquas reign.  Single red C.j. 'Yuletide' with it's boss of yellow stamens is a winner especially since it often blooms around Christmas.  Recently, at a local nursery, 'Shishi Gashira' once again caught my eye.



What's not to love?  Lovely evergreen foliage, intense, some might say garish, color, delightful fragrance and blooming in December.  Perhaps I'll go back and get one.  True confession time:  Camellia japonicas grow all over my garden with nary a problem but I've killed a couple C. sasanquas.  They do very well for me in pots though so maybe that's the answer for me and these lovelies.

And here we have a bloom fully open and exposing her reproductive organs.   Hardy in zones 7 -9 and liking more sun than C.japonicas. That means that here in the soggy pacific northwest, we can grow it in full sun.  


For more information about this easy to grow beauty, look here. Happy first weekend of 2015!  I hope you head out to a nursery to do some plant shopping!

23 comments:

  1. Beautiful. I could natter on forever about Camellias.

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  2. My back garden remains lush all winter with all sorts of evergreens. The front garden looks dismal this time of year I can hardly stand it. I'm determined to add a few hardy evergreens to the mix and with this post I think I found a good candidate!

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    1. Yes indeed, not only evergreen but winter blooming!

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  3. Head out to a nursery and buy some plants? That's a great idea!

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    1. Like any of us needs encouragement to do that...

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  4. I think I need one of these. She's such a tart, exposing herself like that. A girl after my own heart.

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    1. Of course you do! That's why we love you!

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  5. I agree with Loree :) the blooms of camellias at this time of the year are a sight for winter weary eyes!

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  6. So camelias can be fragrant? I was disappointed that the ones I saw at the Huntington did not seem to have any scent. By the way, you are remarkably spry for your 120+ years. What's your secret?

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    1. Many sasanquas are fragrant but the fragrance doesn't carry as well in the cold as it does if we have some warm days in the winter. There are also some japonicas that have a fragrance but I haven't noticed it to be as strong as the sasanquas. Gardening and curiosity about plants keeps my mind young and having all of my body parts replaced every 40 years or so keeps me spry. Also layer after layer of bondo and spackle.

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  7. I would like to add a Sasanqua to my garden somewhere.

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    1. One would look beautiful in your garden. Of course, just about anything would look good in your amazing garden!

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  8. Sigh ... I'm so jealous. They're beautiful! Sadly, my climate is too cold for Camellias, and my first attempt to grow one in a pot (to bring inside for the winter) failed miserably -- even during the mild summer days when it should have been fine. I will have to appreciate them on your blog and in milder climates when I travel. But they are stunning plants! Enjoy.

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    1. Sorry that you can't grow camellias. Interestingly, when they were first brought here from China and Japan, people didn't think they would be as hardy as they are and grew them as greenhouse plants. They are lovely things for zone 7 - 9.

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  9. I have never seen Camellia sansanquas for sale here, are they as hardy as C. japonica? Yours is a real beauty, it is stunning!

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    1. They are equally hardy, have slightly smaller leaves and like more light. For us they bloom a month or two before the japonicas, extending the camellia season.

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  10. Beautiful! I really can' t think why I haven' t got a Camellia sansaqua. I think I need to go out and buy one today. And I only have 4 witch hazels which is just not enough.
    By the way what on earth are bondo and spackle? I think I may need some.

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    1. Oh yes, you do need a Camellia sasanqua. Bondo putty is an automotive body filler and a brand name used by 3M for a line of American-made products for automotive, marine and household repairs. Spackle is a putty used to fill holes, small cracks, and other minor surface defects in wood, drywall, and plaster. Typically, spackling is composed of gypsum plaster from hydrated calcium sulfate, and glue.

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    2. Oh right. I probably definitely need some Spackle then.

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  11. How pretty! I love Camellias, and wish I could grow them here in my new garden in Massachusetts. I so enjoyed them when I lived down South. When I figure out how to operate my greenhouse better, I'm hoping to get one in there, though it will still probably have to be one of the more cold hardy ones!

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    1. What an adventure to move north! Have fun in your new garden and greenhouse!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.