Britain has a long association with the Camellia Tree or The China Rose, as it was originally referred to in the late 1700s, when ambitious horticulturalists of the day first began to grow camellias in this country. These days, camellias grace gardens and terraces right across Britain. Particularly at this time of the year, they are irresistible to the eye, either in full flower or about to burst into prolific bloom and herald the definitive arrival of spring!
An important criteria for choosing a camellia is flower colour. Most frequently we are asked what are the best red camellias for growing in the UK. So, here is our take on the best camellia japonica red varieties for growing in the UK.
Camellia Japonica Australis is a cultivar developed in Australia in the 1950s. It is a very reliable garden camellia except in the harshest or most exposed of British climates. It produces bright pinky-red flowers which measure 12 cm in diameter. The flowers have a lovely peony-type shape. This camellia has an upright and dense growth habit. It is a slow growing variety. Flowering time is mid to late spring.
Camellia Japonica Dr. Burnside was originally bred in the USA in the 1960s. It is a striking camellia that has proven to be very successful in both cooler and warmer climates. It flowers reliably and with abundance and looks spectacular in spring. The peony-shaped flowers measure up to 13 cm across and are bright red with yellow stamens at the centre. Flowering time is mid spring. Its glossy evergreen foliage is mid green in colour. Dr. Burnside is one of the smaller camellias. It has a bushy, upright growth habit and a moderate growth rate. This is an ideal camellia for smaller gardens.
Camellia Reticulata Black Lace is a reticulata hybrid with an eye-catching deep red flower. Camellia Reticulata originates from China as opposed to Japan (Japonica) and many varieties tend to be bigger. Camellia Reticulata Black Lace produces beautiful double flowers that are rich red in colour with an occasional streak of darker, almost black, shade of red. The blooms are up to 11 cm in diameter. Camellia Reticulata Black Lace is hardy and profuse flowering throughout most of the UK. Black Lace has an attractive upright, compact growth habit. It glossy dark green leaves are roughly 8 cm by 4 cm. Flowering time is mid to late spring.
Camellia Adolphe Audusson produces large, bright red, peony-shaped flowers about 11 cm wide. Its growth habit is vigorous and upright and we have both the bush and full standard trees. It has bright glossy evergreen leaves. Flowering time is mid spring.
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