Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring blooming camellias are flowering at the US National Arboretum

FROM THE TOP Camellia japonica 'Daisy Eagleson'; Camellia x 'Fire 'N Ice'; C. japonica 'Red Candles' (plant); Camellia japonica 'Red Candles' (flower); C. japonica 'Hagoromo'; C. japonica'Julia Drayton'; C. japonica

Most years it's reasonable to say that there are spring-blooming camellias and fall-blooming camellias; not so much this year. Cold weather came on so quickly last fall that a large percentage of the bud on the late fall-bloomers didn't get enough heat to flower until this spring. Temperatures weren't low enough to kill the buds, as sometimes happens, but they did delay much of the flowering of the late season cultivars. They finished up over the last month or so. Now the "true" spring flowering camellias are flowering; there are mostly selections of Camellia japonica.

Our collection seems to be passing through adolescence into young adulthood. Most of the plants are taller, all of a sudden, than we are, some considerably so. Because two bad winters in the late 1970's devastated the first planting of camellias, these current plants are relatively young. There are a few plants that predate the recent unpleasantness but most have been planted in the last 15 years. I guess I have a picture in my mind of the plants from 2004 when I returned to the Arboretum. Well, they've grown in the last 7 years.

1 comment:

MulchMaid said...

We've seen the same delay on many spring flowering shrubs here in Portland, including the c. japonicas. Mine are usually in full flower by late February, but were just beginning to open in mid-March this year. And we have sasanquas like 'Yuletide' still blooming now, when their usual time here is late December and January. It was a strange winter.

I'd enjoy seeing your young-adult camellia collection in bloom together!