Is there any way to determine what type of Camellia?

iloveoolong(z7 NC)April 20, 2005

Is there any way to easily distinguish a C. Sinensis from a C. Japonica by the leaves or flowers, etc. I'm sure the camellia bush I have found isn't a sinensis, but I'd love to know for sure because if I can get seeds from it and grow them for free, I want to.

Thanks for the help,

Jenn

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Camellia sasanqua leaves are generally much smaller than the C. japonica.

If you've found a hybrid plant that you like, chances are very good that the offspring will not take after the parent plant from seed.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 2:48PM
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birdinthepalm

As far as I know Camellia sinensis, isn't used much as an ornamental , but strictly the orginal source of tea, and it has quite small leaves and rather plain white single flowers. I'm not sure it's been used much in 'hybridizing' ornamental varieties, but that's a possibility. I think it's unlikely you have the sinensis , since they're most likely not that common in the American horticultural trade.
I have a borrowed picture however of the sinensis and it does look an attractive plant, that you could even use should you be a tea drinker. Other than that, short of using some specialized DNA tests, the exact parentage of variety might be very hard to determine, since there's been so much interbreeding of various hybrids and species over the centuries.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 8:02AM
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okintos

The Camelia sinensis do not look like the thousands of you will cultivate of Camellia japonica.
His flowers are white, very small, axilares and his leaves also are very small.

The flowers of Camellia sinensis are axilares and in Camellia japonica they are born in the terminal apexes.

Excuse my very basic English
Regards.
Daniel Dominguez O Kintos

Here is a link that might be useful: ExpoCamellia2004-2005 in Galicia

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 12:07PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

There are several cultivars of C. sinensis available at a number of nurseries in the U.S. (often mail order ones specializing in fruits, nuts, edibles, etc) that are either white-flowering or the newer pink-flowering. I would say that the leaves on C. sinensis are smaller than C. japonica and are closer to the size of some C. sasanqua.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 1:56PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

DUH! Now that I've paid attention and read the question properly....I've seen jillions of C. sinensis at the Tea Farm in Charleston, SC. As I recall, the leaves were about the same size as most C. japonica, but not as leathery. The flowers are completely different.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 2:11PM
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okintos

The Camellia japonica has the biggest flowers and they are sat in the branch.

The flowers of Camellia sinensis she has a long peduncle that joins them to the branches.

Camellia japonica has the biggest and oval leaves

The Camellia sinensis has the very small flowers.

Excuse my very basic English.
Regards.
Daniel Dominguez O Kintos

Here is a link that might be useful: Camellia in A Toxa

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 6:21PM
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birdinthepalm

Thanks for the additional information. Living in Michigan, I've not yet tried the hardiest new varieties, but my lone camellia is an indoor plant. I haven't the space for many varieties though I've found contrary to what most books say, that they will do fine as house plants , but of course have to be restricted in growth for the most part, since most varieties become much too big for the average house.
The difference I've noticed however, with my indoor ones, is that they may set new flower buds at odd times. They do however make beautiful medium sized bonsais if you wish to keep them small. I must say however , I prefer the very large mature ones outdoors in a natural setting, but it's too cold here for most varieties.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 9:10AM
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