Friday, March 21, 2014

Flowers: Camellias

 In February, I was visiting my friend at Sandringham when I spotted this  tree laden with red fruits.. I was amazed that nobody plucked the fruits. I asked my friend, he said, it is inedible, not even the birds come for them. These are the beautiful fruits of the Camellia tree.

Here in Auckland, we have lots and lots of Camellias of different colours. This soft pink Camellia is the first of the season right now in my garden. You can press the seed to get a few drops of tea flavored oil for cooking or to soften your skin.
Camellia, the camellias, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalaya east to Japan and Indonesia. There are 100–250 described species, with some controversy over the exact number. The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel from Brno, who worked in the Philippines, though he never described a camellia. This genus is famous throughout East Asia; camellias are known as cháhuā (茶花) in Chinese, "flowering tea",

The most famous member – though often not recognized as a camellia – is certainly the tea plant (C. sinensis). Among the ornamental species, the Japanese Camellia (C. japonica) (which despite its name is also found in Korea and Eastern China) and C. sasanqua are perhaps the most widely known, though most camellias grown for their flowers are cultivars or hybrids.


Unknown said...

I love camellias, but I've never noticed the fruits before.

David Chin said...

mana ada fruit.