Scientific name: Camellia x vernalis ‘Yuletide’
Common names: Yuletide camellia, Christmas camellia
Nativity: Camellia species are from Asia, but this hybrid came from a chance seedling that first bloomed in 1959 at Nuccio’s Nurseries, Altadena, CA, USA. (International Camellia Society Registry)
Location: Oakleaf Woods, Charlotte, NC
Date: December 9, 2015
Notes: Usually these shrubs are covered with flowers in November and December, but mine doesn’t have many blooms this year. Maybe it was all the rain we had that produced lots of leaves at the expense of buds? It is still young, but beginning to look quite lush. Camellias like a spot under a large shade tree, but they are adaptable to a range of conditions. The main thing to remember, I was once told by a camellia aficionado, is to plant them slightly above ground level, mounding soil slightly to cover the roots. Drainage is better that way and the roots can get more air. Camellias bloom from fall to spring, which makes the flowers especially welcome. And Yuletide’s bright red blooms with gold stamens and dark evergreen leaves — how much more perfect can a shrub be this time of year?