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CAMELLIA x williamsii 'Cile Mitchell'

Image of Camellia x williamsii 'Cile Mitchell'

James Burghardt



Botanical Name

CAMELLIA x williamsii 'Cile Mitchell'

Plant Common Name

Cile Mitchell Camellia, William's Camellia

General Description

The long-blooming camellia 'Cile Mitchell' produces large, rose-like, pale orchid-pink flowers from early to late in the season. Selected in 1985 by Hulyn Smith of Valdosta, Georgia, 'Cile Mitchell' is one of many named hybrids between Camellia japonica and Camellia saluenensis, which are known collectively as Camellia × williamsii. The first named Camellia × williamsii selection was developed by J. C. Williams of Caerhays Castle in Cornwall in the early 1920s.

This relatively fast-growing cultivar forms a dense, upright, medium to large shrub with ascending, gray-barked branches. Its leathery, oval, serrated leaves are glossy dark green. The large "formal-double" blooms have numerous symmetrically arrayed petals (more than 70 per flower). Approximately 30 modified, petal-like stamens ("petaloids") cluster at each flower's center. In frost-free conditions, 'Cile Mitchell' blooms from late fall to early spring. Flowering may be delayed in colder sites.

Camellia × williamsii cultivars excel in partial shade, but established, regularly watered specimens will tolerate full sun. Evenly moist, acid soil with ample drainage is essential. Camellias are notoriously slow-growing, slow to establish and shallow rooted. A thick layer of organic mulch will protect the roots and help maintain even moisture. Regular irrigation and applications of fertilizer will help promote good growth and flowering. Prune lightly (if necessary) after flowering, just before growth starts in the spring. Most camellias do not recover well from harsh renewal pruning.

Though hardier than many garden camellias,Camellia × williamsii cultivars are still quite tender. Their evergreen leaves and tender flower buds may suffer from sunscald and wind desiccation in winter, so avoid planting them in highly exposed areas. Often employed as specimen plants, they also work well in hedges, foundation plantings, and mixed borders.


  • 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

    8'-15' / 2.4m - 4.6m

  • Width

    6'-15' / 1.8m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

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

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type


  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    Pink, Rose

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture


  • Usage

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

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing