Camellia sinensis is native to mainland South and Southeast Asia, but it is today cultivated across the world in tropical and subtropical regions. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree that is usually trimmed to below two metres (six feet) when cultivated for its leaves or flower buds. It has a strong taproot. The flowers are yellow-white, 2.5–4 cm in diameter, with 7 to 8 petals.
Camellia sinensis is the source of tea of commerce. The young processed leaves yield tea — the world’s most important caffeine beverage. Tea plants are evergreen, medium sized shrub (4-6 ft.) and can be grown outside in zones 7-9. The tea plant is native to S. E. Asia.
Blooming Time: Fall. Flowers are solitary in the axils of the leaves. The flowers are white to 1 ½ inches in diameter and are fragrant.
Culture: Camellia sinensis need full sun to part shade. They prefer a well drained, neutral to slightly acidic soil rich in organic matter (2 parts peat moss or compost to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite). The root hairs are very fine, so the plant can not be allowed to dry out completely. Increase watering when the plant is actively growing and when the plant is in bloom. Fertilize every 2-3 weeks in the spring through fall, use a fertilizer for acid loving plants diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. Repot every 2-4 years in late winter or early spring.
Camellia Flower is the tea purists’ choice. All tea whether black, oolong, green or white comes from the same plant – camellia sinensis. The camellia flower in this blossom is the flower of the camellia sinensis itself, which lends a wholesome roundness to the flavour of the leaves, the tiny traces of pollen giving a hint of “nuttiness”.
If you love the fragrance of Chinese tea, the aroma of camellia flower will delight you as it fills your home upon making a cup or more of camellia tea.