Before last week's deep freeze, the blossoms on my 'Setsugekka' camellia looked like the ones in this photo; white and frilly, centered in fluffs of yellow stamen. I have three of these sasanqua camellias espaliered against a tall hogwire screen, and the combination of their glossy green leaves and white blossoms is the big show in my little garden in late November into January. But last week's deep freeze did them in; now they're wrinkly paper-bag brown...those that haven't already dropped off.
But the wonder of sasanqua camellias is that they bud back up when the weather warms, and bloom again throughout the winter. Sasanquas are more delicate looking shrubs than the bigger, March-flowering Camellia japonicas. The leaves are shiny deep green year-round, their growth habit is a little lanky, so they're ideal to grow against a fence or wall, preferably near your entryway, garage so you can enjoy the site of them from a window. Their real glory is their bloom time; Sasanqua camellias start blooming in November (depending on variety) and keep at it until the daffodils take over.
While C. 'Setsugekka's" large white blossoms look so amazing on a dark December day, C. "Kanjiro' has fragrant, semi-double blossoms in pink edged with red. C. 'Apple Blossom' is an old favorite with white blossoms blushed in baby pink. Monrovia has just introduced new 'Marge Miller' with hot pink flowers that look almost as extravagant as peony blooms....well, see for yourself...all photos courtesy of Monrovia:
Camellia 'Kanjiro' (above)