Help Identifying Red Camellia with Red Stamens
I have a pretty, red _Camellia japonica_ variety that was given to me as a gift in the mid-1970's. At that time, it was a small, two- or three-leaved rooted cutting. It's, obviously, a tough, self-reliant plant because, over time, it has grown in South Carolina red clay into a vigorous, dark-leaved sizable plant, with virtually no attention paid to it, except for the yearly falling of longleaf pine needles during its thirty-year life. It came from a towering mother plant in the pine grove of a local nusery, which has been out-of-business for quite a number of years. Though it is a stunningly beautiful camellia, the nurseryman did not know its name. However, he thought well enough of it to propagate it to give, rather than sell, to his customers. I've looked at picture after picture and read description after description in various camellia encyclopedias and dictionaries; however, I've never been able to identify the plant.
The flowers are large, and bloom from mid-season to late. The flower form is variable, ranging from semi-double, to loose peony, to informal double. In the semi-double blossoms, the medium length stamens are a light, purplish red and topped with yellow pollen. The petals are, I suppose, Oriental, or Turkey, red, with darker red veining. The serrated leaves are a very dark, almost black, green, and are rather large. It is a slow grower with a slightly pendulous habit of growth.
Does anyone have a suggestion of the variety that it could be?