Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Camellia japonica ‘Donckelaeri’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. A vigorous shrub with oval lance-shaped leaves and large, irregularly double white flowers, strongly marbled red, with some petals red, or white marbled red.  [RHSE, Hilliers’].  ‘Bud calyx in fine green divisions, papyraceous, reddish at the base, five lines broad and eight long; flower from three to four inches in diameter; petals about 20, an inch broad, and nearly two long, ovate-oblong, obtuse, entire, cherry-red, No.1, variegated and sprinkled with white; the heart of the corolla is composed of from four to six curled petals, between them are perceived several fertile stamens, with others in a petaloid state.-Magnificent.’  [Berlèse Monography p.92/1838].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Donckelaeri’ was brought to Belgium from Japan by Franz von Siebold in 1830, together with ‘Tricolor’, ‘Ochroleuca’ and ‘Candidissima’, all of them raised and propagated by Donckelaer.  [ICR].  Berlèse Iconographie vol.1 pl.9/1841-43.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues. [T.219/1845] ‘Donckelaeri’ is marked with a ‘c’, denoting grown at Camden, in an 1836 edition of Loddiges’ Nursery catalogue held at Camden Park [CPA].  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].


Published Jun 21, 2009 - 03:41 PM | Last updated Aug 11, 2011 - 04:45 PM

Figured is a camellia with double white flowers, strongly marbled red, with some petals red or white.  Berlèse vol.1 pl.9, 1841.

Camellia japonica L. 'Doncklelarii' | Berlèse vol.1 pl.9/1841 | BHL


Family Theaceae
Region of origin

Japan, garden origin

  • ‘Masayoshi’


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Camellia japonica ‘Donckelarii’ 


Confidence level high