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Sources for Italian Camellias

March 22, 2010

Just wondering if there are any sources in the US for Italian-bred camellias. I'm not interested in Japanese varieties which got renamed (and renamed and renamed) but rather, varieties actually bred in Italy back in the past century. I'm especially interested in the variegated varieties bred in a form similar to loose cabbage roses. Whole plants or scions would both be of interest. Thanks in advance!

Comments (12)

  • okintos

    In the web pages of plant nurseries in the USA, you can see some of the most popular camellias old Italian. For example: "Angela Cocchi ',' Bella di Firenze ',' Bella Romana ',' Lavinia Maggi", "Ridolfi Striata" or "Vergine di Colebeato." If you search the Web, you can find some of the camellias.
    Daniel D.F. oKintos

    Angela Cocchi

    Bella di Firenze

    Lavinia Maggi

    Vergine di Colebeato

  • ozzysboy

    Sr. oKintos:

    Thank you sincerely for your information and time. These varieties would fit the bill very well and your photos are beautiful.

    I'd actually like to take a tour solely of Italian gardens some spring to see large/old specimens--perhaps import some scions--but I've got to say that after seeing some of your other photos, Spain (which I love) appears to be a great camellia haven as well. I had no idea since the books available here on camellias tend to focus on Italy, France, England, USA, the Orient and the Antipodes.

    Again, thank you.


  • okintos

    Hello Eric. I think you should go to the Italian Society of the Camellia. They can say what is the best route to see old copies of camellias in Italy. I know Italy and I can recommend a visit to a wonderful place. Very close to Milano. It is the "Lago Maggiore" (Lake Maggiore). I knew the place, after reading the book "Andrea Cornea" "Camelie dell'Ottocento nel Verbano". I met Andrea Cornea in Galicia, when the two, we went Jurors in the XLII International Exhibition of the Camellia. He told me the large amount of camellias that were formed during the nineteenth century in Italy.

    On the Camellias in Spain, only Galicia, a small autonomous territory in northwestern Spain, has a tradition of camellias. We border the north of Portugal (Porto City) and together (northern Portugal and Galicia) I think we have the best and largest camellias in Europe. We like to teach our older camellias. If you can get the International Camellia Journal 2007, see an article by Doctor. Shigeo Matsumoto on Camellias in Galicia, in the visit that a group of Japanese fans made to Galicia. He admires our old camellias.

    The President of the Japan Society of Camelia, speaks in his article of his visit and the large specimens of camellias in Galicia. Write on the large size of an old camellia "Hagoromo" from the Japanese Edo period. He says he never saw in Japan, a "Hagoromo" as big as that of Galicia. He also speaks of "Captain Rawes Camellia reticulata" the Garden of the "Pazo de Oca." 37 feet high. (12.5 meters high. 1.60 meters in diameter).

    Uploaded some pics of the Camellia reticulata. Also a link to one of my articles on the Camellias in Galicia old gardens.
    Daniel Dominguez Fernández oKintos



    Here is a link that might be useful: Pazo de Oca GARDEN

  • ozzysboy

    Sr. oKintos:

    Again I am in your debt. Truly helpful information--thank you!

    What a beautiful region Galicia must be; I've only been to Madrid and its surroundings, Barcelona, Granada, Malaga, Nerja and over to see Gibraltar. Pazo de Oca looks AMAZING.

    I know that a number of English tour agents book garden tours to the continent; I will ask one of my aunts to start looking for an appropriate tour--she's an avid gardener in sourthern England and has managed to find us excellent garden tours in the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

    Local to me is the National Arboretum in Washington, DC where Mr. Ackerman developed his cold hardy series using C. oleifera after most of the large camellias there froze to death. Unfortunately the collection there is still rebuilding although there are a few nice specimen plants. Certainly, though, we have no ancient and gigantic specimens like those you have in Galicia. Ah well, you've given me much to think on and I thank you.



  • okintos

    I read the message to post some pictures. I see I was wrong as far Camellia of Pazo de Oca. Where I wrote "Diameter", had to write "Perimeter"(Cincumference trunk).

    I take to put two shots I took last weekend in Portugal. Northern Portugal and Galicia, belong to the same climatic region. Moreover, the two border regions have easy communication with short distances.

    Galician fans the Camellias, accustomed every year to visit the Portuguese gardens to see the magnificent gardens and beautiful specimens of camellias.

    Two photographs of gardens. A Camellia reticulate ÂCaptain Rawes in the Shrine of Remedios in Lamego. A group of Camellia japonica, (with an Magnolia X soulangeana among them), in the Mateus Palace Garden in Vila Real.
    Sorry for the mistake.
    Daniel Dominguez Fernandez oKintos

    Camellia reticulate Cv. ÂCaptain RawesÂ

    Camellias in Mateus Garden (Vila Real, Portugal)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Pazo de Mariñan Garden

  • florence_2007

    Daniel, I am ever grateful to you for getting me interested in the Portuguese camellias.

  • Vicissitudezz

    Florence, a web site that makes me long for all sorts of old (and mostly unobtainable here in the U.S.) European camellias is this site for a Portuguese nursery: http://www.cameliasflavius.com

    Beautiful old camellias from all over the world, including some American varieties that aren't so easy to get here anymore.

    BTW, did you ever find 'Kathryn Snow' for your friend?


  • florence_2007

    Daniel, I have been in touch with Antonio, in fact, he named a camellia after me. I did locate 'Kathryn Snow'. A friend is picking it up for me next week. It is a gift for a friend. At long last it has come to be.

    Thank you.

  • Vicissitudezz

    'Kathryn Snow' is a lovely camellia. Is it commercially available, or did you get it from another source? When I searched for it earlier, it looked like there might be a source somewhere in my namesake state (Virginia).

    How nice to have a camellia named for you.


  • florence_2007

    I also found on a list from Joana Guedes family garden the name of a camellia that is from the United States but I have not located here. I found the same one in the book by Mr. Hillebrand in Italy. Now, to get them here.

  • florence_2007

    I did get the plant commercially, yes, in VA.

    A friend s meeting another friend at the Atlantic Coast Camellia Society meeting and he will bring it to me. Nice to have friends.

  • florence_2007

    Unfortunately, it did not live.

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