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Camellia Japonica (white) - Leslie Greenwood - Framed Print - 16"H x 12"W


Camellia Japonica (white) - Leslie Greenwood - Framed Print - 16"H x 12"W

Camellia japonica (the Japanese camellia) is one of the best known species of the Camellia. Sometimes called the Rose of winter. It is the official state flower of Alabama.

The genus Camellia was named after a Jesuit priest and botanist named Georg Kamel. The specific epithet japonica was given to the species by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 because Engelbert Kaempfer was the first to give a description of the plant while in Japan.

The camellia was first brought to the West in 1692 by Engelbert Kaempfer, Chief Surgeon to the Dutch East India Company. He brought details of over 30 varieties back from Asia. Robert James of Essex, is thought to have brought back the first live camellia to England in 1739.

In the U.S.A., camellias were first sold in 1807 as greenhouse plants, but were soon distributed to be grown outdoors in the south.

The first records of camellias in Australia pertain to a consignment to Alexander Macleay that arrived in 1826 and were planted at Elizabeth Bay House.

A well-known camellia nursery in Sydney was "Camellia Grove", set up in 1852 by Silas Sheather. Camellia and other flowers from Sheather's nursery were sent by steamship downriver to florists at Sydney Markets. The area in the vicinity of Sheather's nursery was eventually made a suburb and named Camellia.

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