Camellia japonica ‘Splendens’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. ‘Camellia splendens vera. – We possess two varieties of C. Splendens: the first has a single flower, and is not remarkable; the second, whose leaves very much resemble those of C. Magniflora plena has a superb appearance; its flowers very large, full, regular, deep cherry-red, No.5; petals, rounded, imbricated, some of those in the centre contorted, and formed into two separate hearts. – Superb.’  [Berlèse Monography p.81/1838].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Berlèse gives the origin of Camellia splendens vera as Europe and its country of introduction as England.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.263/1845].  Probably obtained from Loddiges’ Nursery, either in a case of plants brought back by Bidwill or in a direct importation in late 1844.  Concerning the latter Macarthur wrote on 6th January 1845 that he now had five camellias ‘which we had not before’, and of the former that he had saved 60% of the plants: ‘You will judge therefore how much I am in your debt’.  [MP A2933-2, p.28].


The identity of this camellia is uncertain.  Splendens means ‘shining, gleaming, brilliant [Stearn] and is usually associated with red flowers.  It may be Berlèse’s Camellia splendens vera but ‘Splendens’ is also a common synonym for Camellia japonica ‘Coccinea', which see.  Many other camellias were also given the name ‘Splendens’ in some form, e.g. ‘Splendens Alba’, bred by Cels in France in 1836, probably from the original cultivar of that name.  [ICR].  Illustrated is Camellia japonica ‘Splendens Alba.’  [Berlèse Iconographie vol.I pl.89/1841].

Published Jul 03, 2009 - 05:03 PM | Last updated Aug 10, 2011 - 02:44 PM

Figured is a very double pure white camellia, the central petals contortd.  Berlèse Iconographie vol.I pl.89, 1841.


Camellia japonica splendens alba | Berlèse Iconographie vol.I pl.89/1841 | HAAB


More details about Camellia japonica ‘Splendens’
Family Theaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, probably England



Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Camellia japonica splendens 

Confidence level medium