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Posted by jacqueinthegorge USDA 7a / Sunset 3 (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 14, 14 at 2:27

Hi folks, purchased a camellia at a plant sale last year. It's now in a 3-gal pot, doing well. Don't see any flower buds on it. It was labelled sasanqua, is there any way to tell whether it actually is?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sasanqua?

Sasanqua leaves tend to be smaller, shinier and handle sun exposure better than others.

The blooms appear in the Fall, while most japonicas/etc may bloom December thru March. Most tend to produce upright or round/oval shaped bushes.

But trying to tell if it is a sasanqua when it is not in bloom is difficult. If you bought it last year and has no flower buds now, it could be a sasanqua that already bloomed or it could be a sinensis that also already bloomed. Camellia sinensis is used to make tea though; it produces a lot of single white blooms (with some pink exceptions) at the end of the tips and tea people probably cut off the blooms in order to force production of more leaves.


RE: Sasanqua?

Thanks Luis, I guess I'm going to have to wait for blooms. Dang, the suspense is killing me!

RE: Sasanqua?

To make things even trickier, a lot of people will include Camellia vernalis and Camellia hiemalis (and maybe another camellia species or two) under the catch-all description of 'Sasanqua'.

I'm attaching a link to a web site that has lots of photos of sasanquas (or sazankas if you prefer that spelling). Have a look at the leaves to see if they look similar. My guess is that if it was labeled as a sasanqua, that's probably what you've got, and that's a good thing. Sasanquas are excellent garden plants- handsome evergreen shrubs/trees for most of the year and blooming like crazy for a few weeks in the fall. Enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: web site with info on sasanqua camellias

RE: Sasanqua?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 22, 14 at 14:43

Yes, many cultivars sold as Sasanqua camellias are actually Camellia x hiemalis and C. x vernalis forms - among those in general commerce there is a tendency for the true C. sasanqua to have white flowers - but this is not always the case, by any means - there are many pink C. sasanqua selections in existence also.

The dominant representative of C. x vernalis these days is 'Yuletide', a seedling that came up at Nuccio's that can be seen to be partly C. japonica right off because it produces red flowers.

It is a similar situation to the China roses, where certain prominent China rose cultivars are actually tea roses (Rosa x odorata) botanically - think of Sasanqua as a horticultural group that includes but is not limited to cultivars of C. sasanqua itself.

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