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The Camellia Garden

Flower Forms

In the wild, the flowers of camellia species are single.? Over the years, however, many forms of camellia flowers (Camellia japonica, particularly) have been selected, both from wild populations and through hybridization (both within and between species), causing the need to classify them for horticultural identification.

The triennial publication Camellia Nomenclature, published by the Southern California Camellia Society and adopted by the American Camellia Society as the official guide to the identification and description of camellias, lists six basic classes of flower forms (which are explained below) based largely on the number and arrangment of the petals.? (The cultivar examples for each category can be found in both the North Vista and North Canyon plantings.)

SINGLE:? one row of not more than eight regular, irregular or loose petals and conspicuous stamens.? This type of camellia is most highly appreciated in Japan.? Examples:? Camellia japonica seedling trees, species camellias, Higo camellias, 'Yuletide', 'Sukiya'.

SEMI-DOUBLE:? two or more rows of reular, irregular or loose petals surrounding a prominent stamen display.? Examples:? 'Henry E. Huntington', 'Freedom Bell', 'Lila Naff', 'Mrs. D. W. Davis', 'Fashionata', 'Variegata'.
ANEMONE FORM:? one or more rows of large outer peals lying flat or undulating; the center a convex mass of intermingled petaloids and stamens.? Examples:? 'Elegans' (Chandler), 'Little Michael', 'Tinsie', 'Maui', 'Choji Guruma', 'Tinker Bell'.
? ROSE FORM DOUBLE:? imbricated (layered) petals as a formal double but showing stamens in a concave center when fully opened.? Examples:? 'Baronne de Bleichroeder', 'Elena Nobile', 'Interlude', 'Jean May'.
FORMAL DOUBLE:? many rows of petals fully imbricated (overlapped) in symmetrical form never showing stamens.? Examples:? 'Donnan's Dream', 'Pink Perfection', 'Chrysanthemum Petal', 'Marguerete Hertrich'.
PEONY FORM:? a deep, rounded flower of the following forms--
LOOSE PEONY FORM:? loose petals which may be irregular, sometimes intermingled with petals, petaloids and stamens in the center.? Examples:? 'Arajishi', 'Bill Woodroof', 'Tama Glitters', 'Blood of China'.
FULL PEONY FORM:? a domed mass either of mixed irregular petals, petaloids and stamens; or irregular petals and petaloids never showing stamens.? Examples:? 'Mrs. Goodwin Knight', 'Miss Tulare', 'Nuccio's Jewel', 'Debutante'.
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