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CAMELLIA hiemalis

Image of Camellia hiemalis

JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University

Family

Theaceae

Botanical Name

CAMELLIA hiemalis

Plant Common Name

Snow Camellia

General Description

Snow camellia is a slow-growing, long-lived, upright evergreen shrub prized for its late-fall to winter blooms. Known only in cultivation, it may have originated as a hybrid of Camellia sasanqua. Leaves are oval, dark green and glossy, with toothed edges. Small pink, rose-red, or white blooms appear from late fall into winter, with some cultivars having scented blooms. The flowers are somewhat heavier-textured and their bloom period is typically later and longer than those of the sasanquas.

Like most camellias, C. hiemalis and its cultivars prosper in partial shade and acidic to neutral, humus-rich soil. Shelter them from strong winter sun and winds, and mulch to keep the roots cool and moist. Prune (if necessary) in early spring, before next year's flower buds form. Often used for specimen plantings in woodland gardens, snow camellias are perfect for Japanese gardens, mixed borders, or foundation plantings. They also make excellent bonsai and greenhouse plants. Cultivars include 'Chansonette', with vigorous growth and large, pink, frilly flowers; 'Shishigashira', a dwarf selection with small leaves and clear red blooms; and 'Showa-no-sakae', whose arching branches are perfect for espaliers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    4'-14' / 1.2m - 4.3m

  • Width

    3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Red, Pink, Light Pink, Rose

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single, Double, Semi-Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No