Cinnamon Cindy (single form) & Dr. William Ackerman

collierbMarch 16, 2014

I was recently shown at a friend's nursery an especially nice small single camellia bloom with a particularly sweet & powerful fragrance and told that it was Cinnamon Cindy. I looked at my friend (Kathy Van Veen, proprietor of Van Veen Nursery of Rhododendron fame) and said, "I've grown Cinnamon Cindy for some years and it doesn't look like that". Kathy replied, "Well, I got it from Dr. Ackerman- that's what HE said it was." Since Ackerman had hybridized & registered CC, I didn't know what to say so I dropped it at that point. The following day, however, I took my peony-form CC (matching the nomenclature book description) to Kathy and said, "What about this?" Kathy laughed and said, "Oh, that's the Cinnamon Cindy double form" and led me to another spot on her property where, sure enough, the registered peony-form CC was blooming (not growing nearly as vigorously as the single but surviving nonetheless). Kathy then produced from her records (this person is WELL organized) a handwritten letter from Dr. Ackerman in 1991
mentioning CC double form AND CC single form and saying they were crosses of Lutchuenensis and either japonica or rusticana. Well, we know there's only one registered Cinnamon Cindy (1973) & we know that's not a single. My question is, does anyone know of another small, cup shaped, pale pink to white fragrant single with a large boss of yellow stamens that Dr. Ackerman might have registered under another name. Or, does anyone know of whom I might ask? This is a lovely vigorous camellia that, if not registered & distributed, certainly deserves to be. Thank you for reading.

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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

I may be misunderstanding your question, but many camellias take different forms, and I've seen the same 'Cinnamon Cindy' plant put out different-looking blooms. Yes, 'CC' is usually peoniform, but that doesn't mean she's always true to form. Many camellias are a bit unstable.

My guess is that both of these plants you mention ARE 'CC', just with different blooming habits. To complicate things, many camellias throw sports, and if I like a particular bloom from a plant (perhaps especially if it's a little different), I might take a cutting from that part of the plant to propagate in hopes that the flowers on the new plant will look like this more unusual type. I might or might not get a plant whose flowers are generally different from the norm, and even if they are unusual for a while, they might still eventually revert to the original plant's norm.

If a camellia's sport seems to be stable (doesn't revert to the usual flower of the parent plant after several seasons of bloom), it may get its own name. I'm thinking of 'Mathotiana' and its fringed sport 'Flowerwood', but also about 'Betty Sheffield' and 'Lady Vansittart' and their many permutations.

I would guess that if the single-form 'CC' that you mention never (or only rarely) has peoniform flowers, and if plants propagated from it are also pretty consistently single-form with the blooms, then it might deserve to be considered a separate cultivar, and registered as such. Camellias can be pretty variable and unstable, so there needs to be some evidence of a persistent and consistent difference from the parent cultivar for the registration of the offspring as a new cultivar to be worthwhile.

Perhaps Dr. Ackerman felt that the single-form variation wasn't different enough to be considered as a different variety, or maybe he didn't know if the variation would eventually revert to the peoniform norm. If he documented the different types, and the mutations turned out to be stable, someone might decide it's worth registering the mutant as a different variety.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 2:28AM
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Thank you, vmr423, for your thoughtful & probably correct answer to my dilemma. A call today to the botanist at the American Camellia Society headquarters in Fort Valley has likely explained things as best we'll ever know. In 1995 (four years after he sent the cuttings to Kathy here in Oregon) Dr. Ackerman registered Cinnamon Scentsation, described as a sport of CC and fitting the description of what I saw. I will simply say that I have never seen a sport quite as unlike its parent as this is. I am really happy that it did get registered and seems generally available. Among fragrant hybrids, Cinnamon Scentsation is a standout for looks & scent and has proven vigorous and hardy to c. 5 to 10 degrees living here in oregon since 1991. I recommend it to anyone seeking such a variety. Collier Brown

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 8:13PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

I like Cinnamon Scentsation also, and to my nose (not all that reliable with scents) it has a stronger fragrance than 'Cinnamon Cindy'. I do prefer the peony bloom form, though.

It didn't even occur to me that 'CS' was the plant you'd encountered! According to the Web Camellia Register, 'CS' is a mutation of 'CC', much like 'Flowerwood' was a mutation of 'Mathotiana'... Interesting.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 1:14AM
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