Looking for a Camellia cultivar

georgia-roseApril 14, 2009

Wonder if anyone has seen Camellia japonica 'Lois Coker' at any of the local nurseries in GA or SC or know of a source?

It is a white-flowering, formal double, that I saw in a public garden in coastal SC. No staff present at the garden had access to the accession records, to determine it's source.

I have searched for an on line vendor, that will ship and apparently no one sells them. The only listing I found was a local nursery in Fresno, CA.

If you grow it, would you be willing to share/trade cuttings later, in the summer?

TIA for any information.

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The 2009 edition of _Camellia Nomenclature_ indicates that _Camellia japonica_ 'Lois Coker' was registered as a camellia variety in 1979 by Mrs. R. R. Coker of Hartsville, South Carolina. Ms. Coker is, or was, probably a member of the Coker Family that established Coker College in Hartsville, which is in the Pee Dee Section of eastern South Carolina. Coker College is home of Kalmia Gardens, which has an extensive planting of camellias.

In all probability, the staff at Kalmia Gardens will be able to provide you with information on the availability of this camellia cultivar. The garden director is Mary Ridgeway (mridgeway@coker.edu). The assistant garden director, who made an appearance on last night's _Making It Grow_ on SC-ETV, is Dan Hill (dhill@coker.edu). You may also contact Kalmia Gardens of Coker College at kalmia@coker.edu. The phone number is (843) 383-8145.

Another thing you may want to consider is contacting the Coker Family directly to inquire about this camellia variety, which, apparently, is not commonly available in the camellia trade. If you go onto any of the Internet phone directories, e.g., www.anywho.com or www.switchboard.com, and enter _coker_ as the last name with a limit to _hartsville_ and _south carolina_, you will find a listing of all the Cokers with published phone numbers in Hartsville, one of whom is an R. R. Coker. Whether this is the right Coker, your guess is as good as mine. However, he/she might be able to give you a camellia lead of some kind.

Also consider inquiring at the American Camellia Society in Fort Valley, GA, at 1 (877) 422-6355.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:52AM
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Here's a link from the ACS website that lists a number of nurseries that specialize in Camellias. Most are in FL. Odd that there is no listing in SC, as there are some public gardens there, that are loaded with them!
Most list an email contact link.
Might give them a try.

Here is a link that might be useful: ACS - Retail Nurseries

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 5:05PM
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Thanks for the references.
Have contacted several nurseries, but so far, no luck!
ACS at Ft. Valley, GA has one, that was presented by Kalmia Gardens, for their collection, but they aren't propagating it.
For such an outstanding, white-flowering double, it's amazing that no one is offering it for sale!
Will keep looking_________

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 3:52PM
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Dear georgia-rose,
If I really wanted that variety, I would contact Kalmia Gardens directly. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of camellia cultivars that are registered, but not comercially available.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:27AM
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