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 sasanqua Thunb.

Fully-hardy upright to spreading shrub or small tree with elliptic leaves and fragrant, single, cup-shaped white flowers, 5-7cm across, in autumn.  To 6m.  Many cultivars exist in a range of colours.  [RHSE, Hilliers’].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A shrub with open branches, which are reddish and villous when young; leaves one inch broad and three long, alternate, oval, obtusely dentated, emarginated, thick, and of a dull green; flower small, single, comosed of five petals, of a beautiful white, sessile, terminal.’  [Berlèse Monography p.50/1838].

‘It is of recent introduction to Europe, having been first received from China in 1811, by the East India Company.’  [BR f.12/1815].  C. sasanqua flore pleno was figured later, the plant supposedly introduced by Drummond in 1823.  [BR f.1091/1827].  ‘Palmer’s Double Sasanqua’ was figured in 1819.  This plant was introduced by Captain Rawes and grown at Thomas Palmer’s, Bromley, Kent.  [BM t.2080/1819].  ‘A native of China and Japan, introduced about the year 1810.  It is a slender shrub, with weak, pendulous branches, flowering in the autumn with us.  Kaempfer mentions many varieties of this plant.  [Camellia sasanqua pleno-carneo] was introduced from China: it is a beautiful kind, flowering freely, and the blossoms are peculiarly delicate and pleasing.’  [LBC no.1275/1828].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.277/1843].  A plant was presented to the Sydney Botanic Garden on December 24th 1845 [RBGS AB].


Published Jul 05, 2009 - 03:33 PM | Last updated Jul 31, 2010 - 04:57 PM

Figured is a camellia with elliptic leaves and single, cup-shaped white flowers.  Botanical Register f.12, 1815.

Camellia sasanqua Thunb. | BR f.12/1815 | BHL

Family Theaceae
Region of origin


Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Camellia Sasanqua 

Confidence level high