CAMELLIA japonica 'Cherries Jubilee Variegated'
Plant Common Name
Camellia, Cherries Jubilee Variegated Camellia, Japanese Camellia
A virus-induced sport of 'Cherries Jubilee', this 1993 introduction produces large, many-petaled, dark red blooms with white blotches. This relatively slow-growing, upright, medium to large shrub has ascending gray branches. Each bloom contains numerous white-splotched petals surrounding a central ruff of smaller "petaloids." The petaloids are interspersed with tufts of purple-pink stamens with golden anthers. This cultivar blooms from mid to late winter, midway in the Camellia japonica flowering season.
Treasured in eastern Asia for centuries, camellias were brought to the western world by Jesuit missionary and botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, for whom they are named. Their attractive smooth gray branches hold oval, glossy, toothed, dark green leaves. From late winter to early spring, this cultivar bears large, waxy flowers which are excellent for cutting.
Common camellia grows best in partial sun to partial shade but will tolerate full sun once established, though sunscald may be a problem. The soil must be evenly moist, acid and well-drained. This plant is notoriously slow-growing, slow to establish and shallow rooted. A thick layer of organic mulch will protect the roots and facilitate better growth. Regular irrigation and applications of fertilizer promote good growth and flowering, though plants will tolerate periods of drought.
The evergreen leaves and tender flower buds may suffer from sunscald and wind desiccation in winter, so avoid planting camellia in windy, exposed areas. If needed, prune branch tips immediately after flowering, just before new growth starts in the spring. Selective, infrequent light pruning and shaping is recommended but shearing is not. This camellia does not recover well from harsh pruning practices. In the landscape, it may be used in hedges, shady foundation beds, mixed borders or as a woodland specimen plant.