These all come to us from the collection of Dr. William Ackerman, retired USDA Research Horticulturist. Over the course of his career he accumulated, both by collection and cooperation, an impressive assemblage of rare and prize plants including a number of species. It's wonderful to be able to observe these plants.
The first and third are subtropicals and the reason we were moving the group inside today. The bottom plant, is a cool little plant. The flowers were abundant and just over an inch in diameter (~3 cm.). C. brevistyla var. brevistyla. C. chrysanths, the top plant has yellow flowers, or at any rate, will have yellow flowers when it blooms. The red new leaves and the large stipules are pretty decorative now. The second plant down, C. x williamsii 'Night Rider' is a plant that's hardy here. Look at the leaves; they're beautifully veined, dark green, and uniformly unblemished. I don't know this variety but it described as being slow growing, small, or both. The sing salmony dark pink flower will not be hardy for us. It comes from a coastal sub-tropical climate. Amanda noted that the color is tropical.
Follow up Fall 2012 The plant was planted out in June of 2011 and survived the winter of 2011-12. It suffered no damage but that seems reasonable; Camellia Forest lists it as USDA 7b and we had a very very mild winter. It flowered nicely and made good growth. This coming winter (2012-13) is forecast to be much colder than last year. We'll see what happens.