Native Region: China; India
Zone Range: 8-10
Preferred Climate: Full to semi sun; well draining humus rich acidic soils
Harvest Date: Thursday 01 March, 2012
Seed count: 5-7
Tea, the world renowned beverage. Whether it be green, black, white, yellow, pu-erh, ooling it all comes from the processed young leaves of tea camellia aka Camellia sinensis. Glossy gorgeous dark green leaves. Smallish white fragrant flowers bloom in the fal, the huge yellow boss of staemens provides a late boon for pollen and nectar seekers. The plant we put in the garden as a hardiness test survives its full morning sun non protected site. Over three winters, there isn't any evidence of die back much to my surprise...its perhaps more hardy than we give credit for. I plan on a lovely hedge sometime in the near future and enjoy our own tea...from both leaves and flowers. Grow as bonzai, pruned to shrubs to small 5m trees.
Full detailed germination technique plus pics can be found at: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/scm-17.pdf
Seeds will be already given a 24 hour Skookum soak, but a resoak for 12 could be good in order to ensure fully hydrated seed as this is essential for the remaining seed germination treatment. After soaking, place seed in strong direct light for 2-3 days, but its essential to mist the seed during this time to keep seed moist. Seed should crack open. Sow cracked seed with its hilium or 'eye' in the horizontal position. Use moisture retaining but well draining medium. Makes deep tap roots so use deep pots. Keep warm and do not let dry out. You should see little tops emerge in 2 months. I've baggie sown other Camellia types and transplanted when the radicle is 2-4cm long.