CAMELLIA x williamsii 'James S Reeve'
Plant Common Name
James S. Reeve Camellia, William's Camellia
The camellia 'James S. Reeve' produces large, semi-double, rose-red blooms midway in the camellia season. White stamens with yellow anthers cluster at their centers.
Originating as a random seedling, 'James S. Reeve' was selected by Houghton S. Hall of San Anselmo, California, in 1991. It is one of many named selections of Camellia × williamsii, the hybrid between the East Asian natives Camellia japonica and Camellia saluenensis. Camellia × williamsii cultivars were first raised by J. C. Williams of Caerhays Castle in Cornwall in the early 1920s.
This slow- to moderate-growing, rounded, medium to large shrub has spreading to ascending, gray-barked branches and leathery, oval, glossy dark-green leaves. In frost-free conditions, 'James S. Reeve' blooms from early to late winter. 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.