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CAMELLIA japonica 'Lily Pons'

Image of Camellia japonica 'Lily Pons'

John Rickard

Family

Theaceae

Botanical Name

CAMELLIA japonica 'Lily Pons'

Plant Common Name

Camellia, Japanese Camellia, Lily Pons Camellia

General Description

The camellia 'Lily Pons' produces large, single to semi-double, snow-white blooms in late winter and early spring. Selected by Barney Goletto of Milwaukie, Oregon, this cultivar originated as a chance seedling in the early 1950s. It is one of thousands of named selections and hybrids of Camellia japonica, a broadleaf evergreen shrub that has long been grown and treasured in its native East Asia.

This relatively slow-growing, upright, medium to large shrub has ascending, gray-barked branches and oval, glossy, medium-green leaves with serrated edges. Each bloom contains approximately 12 long, pure-white petals and a central cluster of greenish-white stamens with golden-yellow anthers. This cultivar blooms toward the end of Camellia japonica flowering season.

Camellia japonica cultivars prefer dappled sun but will tolerate full sun once established. The soil should be moist, well-drained, and non-alkaline. Shelter them from harsh winter sun and winds, and apply mulch to keep the roots cool and moist. Regular irrigation and applications of fertilizer promote optimal growth and flowering. Prune lightly (if necessary) in early spring, before next year's flower buds form. This Camellia japonica cultivar is well suited for foundation plantings, mixed borders, cool greenhouses, and large containers. Its waxy flowers are excellent for cutting.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 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

    7'-12' / 2.1m - 3.7m

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    China, Japan, Korea

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single, 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