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Northwest Regional Reports

Camellias That Shine in Winter

These dazzling flowers will bring a breath of life to your off-season garden

This ‘Pink Snow’ camellia grows as a bushy shrub. Camellias can also be espaliered or arborized. Photo: Jason Jorgensen

Even during the shortest days of winter, everyone loves to see beautiful blossoms. Evergreen camellia shrubs (Camellia spp. and cvs., Zones 6–10) are tough, long-lasting plants, and their beautiful winter-blooming flowers can help brighten up our short Pacific Northwest winter days. Their glossy, bright green leaves with toothed edges are punctuated with brightly colored, showy flowers that come in whites, pinks, reds, and even pale yellows. The petals are accompanied by golden yellow stamens. They prefer the acidic soils typical of the Pacific Northwest and enjoy even moisture, growing more drought tolerant as they mature and become more established. There are many species of camellia; the ones profiled in this article are cultivars and hybrids of the early blooming sasanqua camellia (Camellia sasanqua, Zones 7–9). In our region, sasanqua camellias bloom from December to January.

Camellias are versatile; they can be grown singly as shrubs or hedging plants, espaliered against a fence…

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