CAMELLIA reticulata 'Eden Roc'
Plant Common Name
Eden Roc Camellia, To-tsubaki, Yunnan Camellia
The large, semi-double, midseason blooms of 'Eden Roc' have shell-pink, crepe-textured petals. This open-pollinated seedling of a "wild form" of Camellia reticulata was selected by David Feathers of Lafayette, California, in the mid-1970s.
This large, upright, vigorous shrub has ascending, gray-barked branches and leathery, oval, dark-green leaves with finely toothed margins. Each flower has numerous large, irregular, wavy-edged petals surrounding a central column of white stamens with golden anthers. Emerging blooms are funnel-shaped before opening wide. In frost-free conditions, 'Eden Roc' flowers from midwinter to early spring. Bloom may occur later in colder sites.
Camellia reticulata is a large evergreen shrub (or small tree) from upland forests in western Guizhou, southwestern Sichuan, and Yunnan. It is best known for its many cultivars, some of which have been grown in Yunnan since before the fifteenth century, typically in temple gardens. Most C. reticulata cultivars have huge double- or semi-double flowers, and are lankier, less cold-hardy, and more disease-prone than the wild type. Many cultivars attributed to C. reticulata are interspecific hybrids.
Grow Reticulata camellias in partial shade and moist, humus-rich, non-alkaline soil. 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. C. reticulata cultivars are generally rangier and frailer than the wild type, requiring more protection and pruning to keep them in good condition. This Reticulata camellia makes a beautiful specimen for mild-climate gardens and cool greenhouses.