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 ‘Fortuita’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. In 1841 Chandler’s Nursery in London sold Camellia ‘Fortuita’, described as a delicate white, fringed with pink, with round petals, almost certainly Herbert’s plant. [Gard. Chron. 1841].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

Bred by William Herbert before 1837 and first described in the supplement to his Amaryllidaceae.  ‘The finest double varieties of Camellia Japonica which I have raised are as follows: From the single white by the pollen of Pompone, 1. var. Spofforthiae, or Spofforth striped, very large and very double white, with a few pink stripes, and occasionally one or two anthers. 2. v. Maculosa, or Calypso, do.  3. v. Haylocki, or Haylock’s white; pure white, rarely a few anthers.  4. v. Eburnea, or Ebur; very vigorous, pure white; somewhat waratah shaped.  5. v. Nivosa, or Nitor; double white, variable in form.  6. v. Fortuita, or Fortuna; very like var. 1.  7. v. lactescens, or Luna; double white.’  [Herbert p.367].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T225/1850].  ‘Fortuna’ is clearly marked with an ‘H’, denoting Herbert, in William Macarthur’s hand in a copy of the 1850 catalogue held at Camden Park.  Possibly obtained from Loddiges’ Nursery.  Macarthur wrote on 6th Janury 1845: ‘I am very desirous to have the best of Mr. Herbert’s varieties.’  [MP A2933-2, p.28].


‘Fortuna’ should not be confused with C. Fortuni, ‘a new Camellia from China, discovered and sent home by Mr. Fortune.  It is a carnation striped kind, very different however from any we have hitherto possessed insomuch as the stripes, rosy pink, are much more brilliant’.  [GC 1856].

Published Jun 22, 2009 - 03:14 PM | Last updated Aug 11, 2011 - 04:32 PM

Family Theaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, England

  • ‘Fortuna’ 


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Camellia japonica ‘Fortuna’

Confidence level high