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 ‘Rubra Plena’

A cultivar of Camellia japonica L. The double flowers are up to 8cm across and crimson-red in colour, resembling the flowers of a double Hibiscus.  [Don, ICR].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘[This] fine variety is one of the first kinds which were introduced into this country [from Japan] by Sir Robert Preston about the year 1798.  Although it is one of the most estimable kinds, it has not been generally so much encouraged as the others: the reason seems to be that it does not flower so freely when young.’  [LBC no.397/1819].  It was probably first figured in Andrews’ Botanical Repository.  [ABR pl.199/c.1801].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.258/1843].  Plants were presented to the Sydney Botanic Garden on October 24th 1846 [RBGS AB].  ‘Rubra plena’ was marked ‘+ C’ in an article by ‘G.A.L’ in the Horticultural Register, indicating that it was grown at Camden but was not new to the colony.  Although this book originally belonged to James Bowman, this may indicate that ‘Rubra plena’ was grown by the Macarthur family earlier than 1843.  [HR p.633/1832].  Walter Hazlewood found three plants of ‘Rubra plena’ at Camden Park in the 1930s.  [TJSC].


Published Jul 02, 2009 - 03:30 PM | Last updated Aug 10, 2011 - 03:32 PM

Shown is a camellia, crimson-red in colour, similar to flowers of a double Hibiscus.  Loddiges Botanical Cabinet no.397, 1819.

Camellia japonica ‘Rubra Plena’ | LBC no.397/1819 | HAAB


Family Theaceae
Region of origin

Japan, garden origin

  • ‘Double Red camellia’
  • ‘Old Red’
  • ‘Greville’s Red’


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Camellia japonica rubra plena 


Confidence level high