Archive for Camellia ‘Snow Flurry’

2012 Fall-blooming Camellias

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Fall, Fall Color, Shade Shrubs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Camellia x 'Winter's Joy'The fall-blooming camellias are flowering in my garden, pictured above is ‘Winter’s Joy’.  I planted this camellia last fall, and it bloomed all through our mild winter.  This year it is once again loaded with buds and began blooming in October.

For the past two falls, I have written posts on fall-blooming camellias, shrubs that have quickly become favorites in my garden.  Who can resist their tough nature, glossy, evergreen leaves, tidy habit, and, best of all, large, elegant flowers from September through December?  To read my posts, click Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

'Winter's Snowman'‘Winter’s Snowman’ was planted in spring 2011 in dense shade and bloomed sparsely last fall.  This year it is well established and has been covered with flowers since October.

I only have four fall-blooming camellias in my garden: the two pictured above plus ‘Elaine Lee’ and ‘Winter’s Darling’.  My desire to showcase some new varieties on my blog gave me a great excuse to venture forth and visit the camellia collections of two great gardeners, both located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.  I spent two glorious afternoons obsessing on camellias with Charles Cresson, whose garden you have visited many times on my blog, and with Keith Robertshaw, a diehard camellia collector and one of my nursery customers.

Camellia x 'Snow Flurry'‘Snow Flurry’, which I have shown you before in the Cresson garden, is having a banner year this year.

The weird weather patterns we have been experiencing have had one good result, camellias are blooming early this year with an abundance of flowers.  I usually find it very difficult to photograph a full camellia shrub.  When I step back far enough to get the whole bush in the photo, the flowers lose their impact even though they look great in person. That was not a problem on my recent trip when cultivars like ‘Snow Flurry’ were bursting with flowers as you can see in the above photo.

Camellia x 'Snow Flurry'‘Snow Flurry’ is the earliest to flower of the cold hardy fall-blooming camellias selected by William Ackerman at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC.  It is at the top of the list for additions to my garden.


Camellia x 'Autumn Spirit'‘Autumn Spirit’ is another cold hardy camellia that blooms early and has produced a plethora of flowers this year.  Early bloomers are desirable because they are guaranteed to bloom even if we have an early winter that freezes the buds on the late bloomers.


Camellia x 'Autumn Spirit'‘Autumn Spirit’ was selected by the North Carolina nursery Camellia Forest for its intense color, early bloom, and cold hardiness.

I have featured all four of the camellias shown above in my previous posts.  However, my visits to the Robertshaw and Cresson gardens did yield seven new cold hardy camellias that I haven’t seen before.  If you combine these with the approximately 20 cultivars profiled in my 2010 and 2011 posts, you will have a pretty comprehensive reference library of camellias suitable for the mid-Atlantic area of the US.  Here are the new candidates:

Camellia x 'Survivor'‘Survivor’ is another Camellia Forest introduction producing an abundance of single white flowers in early fall.  If you are in an area north of the mid-Atlantic, you might want to try this very cold hardy camellia which survived -9° F (-22.8° C) in the Camellia Forest Nursery garden.


Camellia x 'Long Island Pink'Another camellia in addition to ‘Survivor’ for gardeners who prefer single flowers, ‘Long Island Pink’ is also valued for its large highly polished leaves.  Although it is a cultivar of  C. sasanqua, which is generally considered tender, ‘Long Island Pink’ was selected for cold hardiness from a Long Island, NY, garden.


Camellia x 'Polar Ice'‘Polar Ice’ is a cold hardy Ackerman hybrid with anemone form flowers blooming in November and December.


Camellia x 'Ashton's Ballet' ‘Ashton’s Ballet’ is an Ackerman hybrid with rose form double flowers blooming in November and December.  It has a compact form and makes a beautiful garden specimen.


Camellia x (Ackerman seedling)I am cheating by putting this camellia in the post because you can’t buy it.  It was an Ackerman seedling given to Charles Cresson but never introduced to the trade.  The flowers are huge, gorgeous, and pure white.  I think we need to lobby to have it named! 


Camellia x 'Winter's Rose'The Ackerman hybrid ‘Winter’s Rose’ is unusual.  It is a semi-dwarf that grows very slowly and densely with small leaves and flowers, making a great patio plant.  If you don’t have much room, this is the camellia for you.


Camellia x 'Winter's Rose'‘Winter Rose’ has an abundance of small delicate shell pink flowers from mid-October to early December.  Charles Cresson pointed out that although the plant is exceedingly hardy, the flowers freeze easily.


Camellia x 'Winter's Rose' ‘Winter’s Rose’ seems to be the favorite among commenters so I thought I would add another photo.


Camellia x 'Winter's Fire'‘Winter’s Fire’ was present in both gardens and is the most intriguing camellia that I saw during my visits.  The flower color is very unusual, a beautiful mix of red, pink, and coral with contrasting white splotches.  While Keith and Charles both stated that the white was caused by a non-harmful virus and both plants displayed this coloring, I could find no mention of this on the internet.

[Thanks to reader Alisa Brown for answering my question about 'Winter's Fire'.   Variegation in camellias caused by a virus is not considered part of the official description of the flower.  You can read more about this by clicking here.]

Camellia x 'Winter's Fire'William Ackerman, who selected ‘Winter’s Fire’, characterizes it as having “spreading growth with a weeping habit.”  In the Robertshaw garden, it was growing like a groundcover.  This photo is taken from above.  I would love to try it cascading over a wall.


Camellias in Cresson gardenThis is one corner of the Cresson garden showing ‘Snow Flurry’ on the left and the unnamed white Ackerman plant on the top right intermingled with several other large camellias.  Though it may be hard at first to get used to such big gorgeous flowers in November, as you can see they make for a beautiful fall landscape.


My annual fall camellia hunt is over with seven new specimens bagged.  Now I have a year to determine where I will continue my search next fall.  If you know of any local public or private gardens showcasing camellias please let me know.



Nursery Happenings:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is done for the fall.  Thanks for a great year.  See you in spring 2013.

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Fall-blooming Camellias Part 3

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Fall Color, Shade Shrubs with tags , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Unnamed camellia developed by William Ackerman who has hybridized many wonderful fall-blooming camellias for the U.S. National Arboretum.  For an article about his camellia introductions, click here.

Last December I wrote two popular articles about fall-blooming camellias.  Fall-blooming Camellias Part 1 explains that these camellias are fully hardy and easy to grow in the mid-Atlantic U.S. and shows photos of my plants.  It also has links to more information.  Part 2 covered my visit to the gardens of camellia expert Charles Cresson in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, whose camellia collection includes over 60 specimens.  This week I visited Charles’s gardens again, about a month earlier than last time, to view and photograph more camellias (I am an addict now).  In this article, I want to share that visit with you.  On Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, I will show photos of my own plants in bloom.

Camellia x ‘Snow Flurry’ is one of the earliest flowering fall-bloomers of the Ackerman hybrids with an arching habit and anemone to peony form flowers.

During my time in Charles’s garden, I revisited some of my favorite camellias pictured in my post last December, including ‘Snow Flurry’ above and the cranberry-flowered camellia and ‘Winter’s Snowman’ pictured below.

Cranberry-flowered camellia (not introduced for sale): fall-blooming camellias are loaded with buds right now and will continue to bloom over the next two months, depending on the weather.  Even if the open flowers are frozen during a cold spell, the remaining buds will open when the weather warms.

A close up of the cranberry-flowered camellia pictured above (not introduced)

The large, semi-double flowers of the Ackerman hybrid Camellia x ‘Winter’s Snowman’ really stand out in November and December.  ‘Winter’s Snowman’ has an upright, narrow habit.

Camellia x ‘Winter’s Snowman':  If you look at my post from last December, you will see that ‘Winter’s Snowman’ can have both the semi-double flower pictured there and the anemone form flower above.  Both  are gorgeous.

Because I visited earlier in the season this year, I was able to photograph seven additional camellias:

Camellia x ‘Winter’s Star’ is an October and November blooming Ackerman hybrid with single flowers and an upright form.

This is a lovely semi-double white camellia hybridized by Charles but not introduced for sale or named.

Camellia x ‘Winter’s Interlude’ is a November and December blooming Ackerman hybrid with anemone form flowers and an upright spreading habit.

This camellia, which Charles grew from cuttings given to him by North Carolina State University, is very beautiful, but has not been introduced for sale.

A close up of the lovely pale pink flower on the North Carolina State camellia pictured above.

Camellia x ‘Moon Festival’ has unusually large flowers with a crepe paper texture, but is hardy only to zone 7.

Charles and I both love this unnamed Ackerman hybrid pictured above and at the top of the post.  We were thinking of potential names like “Winter’s Halo” or “Inner Glow”.  Do you think it should be introduced?

Camellia x ‘Carolina Moonmist’ was developed by the J.C. Raulston Arboretum of NCSU with single pink flowers.

Camellia x ‘Carolina Moonmist': Charles feels that this camellia is too late-blooming for our area because many of the buds won’t open before it is too cold.  ‘Winter’s Star’ is a much better alternative.

I tried to remain focused on camellias for the whole visit, but the garden is so beautiful that some other plants snuck in, and I have to share them:

Fall-blooming hardy cyclamen seedling, C. hederifolium, growing at the base of a massive tree trunk.

Chinese holly, Ilex cornuta

Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Ornatum’

The fall color of star magnolia, M. stellata.

The fall color of bald cypress, Taxodium distichum.

We are so lucky in this part of the world to have such massive trees with gorgeous fall color.

Enjoy,  Carolyn

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Nursery Happenings: The nursery is closed for the year.  Look for the snowdrop catalogue (snowdrops are available mail order) in January 2012 and an exciting new hellebore offering in February 2012.  If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Fall-blooming Camellias Part 2

Posted in Fall Color, Shade Shrubs with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Red-flowered Camellia japonica (introduction in process)

In my previous article, Fall-blooming Camellias Part 1, I showed you my camellias and provided some background on the development of these remarkable plants.   Here I want to convey the astonishing variety of cultivars available for your fall  garden.

On December 2 (before the freeze), I was privileged to visit the camellia collection of Swarthmore, PA, horticulturalist Charles Cresson who grows over 60 varieties.  Charles not only showed me around his gardens, but helped me stage the photographs—thanks Charles.  Here are some of the incredible specimens I saw.


fall-blooming camellia 'Snow Flurry'Camellia x ‘Snow Flurry’ (Ackerman Hybrid)


fall-blooming camellia 'Winter's Dream'Camellia x ‘Winter’s Dream’ (Ackerman Hybrid)

fall-blooming camellia 'Autumn Spirit'Camellia x ‘Autumn Spirit’ (Camellia Forest Introduction)


fall-blooming camellia 'Winter's Snowman'Camellia x ‘Winter’s Snowman’ (Ackerman Hybrid)

fall-blooming camellia 'Winter's Charm'Camellia x ‘Winter’s Charm’ (Ackerman Hybrid)


fall-blooming camellia 'Scented Snow'Camellia x ‘Scented Snow’ (Camellia Forest Introduction)


fall-blooming camellia 'Winter's Beauty'Camellia x ‘Winter’s Beauty’ (Ackerman Hybrid)


fall-blooming camellia 'Cranberry Ice'Cranberry-flowered Camellia (not introduced)

fall-blooming camellia Ackerman seedlingWhite-flowered Camellia (not introduced)

The two photos above are of  cold hardy camellias that have never been offered  for sale.


fall-blooming camellia "Wax Lips"

fall-blooming camellia "Wax Lips"

Red-flowered Camellia japonica (introduction in process)

Of all the camellias I saw during my visit, and there were many more than appear here, you can probably tell that the red-flowered camellia in the photographs above and at the top was my favorite.  From its plentiful plump buds to its robust red flowers with bright yellow stamens to its dazzling dark evergreen leaves to its lush and  luxurious habit, it is outstanding.  It is a straight C. japonica  species collected by the Morris Arboretum in 1984 on an island in Korea.   The island is the most northern range of this species. Although technically a spring bloomer, it also flowers in fall.  Charles hopes to introduce it for sale soon.

For more information on Ackerman  hybrid camellias, read William Ackerman’s article “Camellias for Cold Climates”.  For a wonderful selection of camellias from a nursery that hybridizes them, visit the Camellia Forest Nursery website.  Camellia Forest is located in Chapel Hill, NC.


Note: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.


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