The 'Real' Mathotiana?

vmr423October 18, 2013

I'm trying to get a handle on my camellia varieties, but 'Mathotiana' has me confused.

According to the International Camellia Register, 'Mathotiana' was bred in Belgium by M. Mathot around 1847. In the U.S., 'Julia Drayton' (a cultivar from Magnolia Gardens, c. 1908) was incorrectly called 'Mathotiana'- 'Julia Drayton' is apparently also called 'Purple Dawn'.

'Grand Sultan' is another camellia that may have been mistakenly labeled as 'Mathotiana'.

Does anyone have a clear idea of what the real 'Mathotiana' looks like? Comparison photos would be very welcome!

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vmr I don't know if this is going to help you,but I looked in G.G. Gerbing 's book on camellias written in 1945 and he list Mathotiana rubra with the synonyms of Julia Drayton, Purple emperor, purple dawn and W.S. Hastie. This is his description, This plant is covered with large , glossy,dark green foliage, very smooth texture. A vigorous, compact, symmetrical grower that blooms from November to March. Can be depended on to develop blooms that are practically perfect. Quite hardy. Can be planted in full sun. this on page 150-151 On page 152 is another entry same name basicly the same info with the note that some nurseries in Georgia are selling this under the name of W.S. Hastie, while the remainder of the nurseries in America employ any or all of the above names . Plant in sun or shade. the above names are the same as listed in first paragraph.
Now I will add my one cents worth. You might find photo comparisons on the net at assorted camellia sites. Who knows how many people were planting seeds of these camellias just like people do now and if the seed came from Mathotiana then by all means that is what it must be, I am kidding there I just know how some people think. Few people knew about genetics or cared they just planted the seed from granmas plant and had one like hers or at least similar. I hope the info from Mr. Gerbing helped and my one cents worth well you know what it is worth.
James in Florida

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 2:01PM
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Thanks so much for the info from Gerbings. I'm sure that you're right about some people planting seeds and assuming the offspring were the same variety as the parent. I heard recently about a gentleman who had a yard with many seedlings he had planted; he went through an illustrated book on camellias and whatever flower looked most like his seedlings' flowers- that's what he'd call the plant.

I was pretty much resigned to not knowing how to tell 'Mathotiana' from 'Julia Drayton', then I encountered this photo from the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and to me it looks like 'Prof Sargent' only with larger surrounding petals:

I would guess that some European gardeners might have an idea of what Mathot's 'Mathotiana' looks like, but maybe nobody really knows- I sure don't!

Thanks again for the Gerbing description- it agrees with the ICR descriptions, but neither source mentions how to tell one variety from the others- possibly they just aren't sure...

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Here's a photo of my American 'Mathotiana'- it just began to bloom this week. If past years are any guide, it will continue blooming through February or March...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 1:52AM
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